Pakistan Ranked 56th For Internet Freedom: Freedom On Net Report 2017. Recently Released report named ‘Freedom On Net’ placed Pakistan on 56th position out of 65 countries for not having cyber liberty. This is an alarming figure for a developed country for not having internet freedom.
This is the sixth year in a row where Pakistan was termed “not free” by the Freedom House in its Freedom On Net Report. Freedom On Net Report 2017 was researched by Digital Rights Foundation and research team at Freedom House. This report accesses internet freedom in total 65 countries and concluded 87 percent of total internet users globally.
Pakistan Ranked 56th For Internet Freedom: Freedom On Net Report 2017
Freedom on Net report actually focused on the developments between June 2016 and May 2017. According to report mobile internet service were shutdown for more than an year in FATA. It also revealed that Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016, put on strong censorship over internet.
Nighat Dad, the executive director of DRF said:
Internet regulation by the government and prosecution with regard to online speech has seen a marked increase. The coverage period of this report includes the electronic crimes act which criminalizes a lot of online speech. It has seen detentions on the basis of online speech.
Ms. Dad further added that:
There have also been internet shutdowns in more remote parts of the country which means that marginalised populations have been denied access to the internet.
Nighat Dad suggested that the only possible way to control it is to monitor the implementation of laws. Allocation of proper resources should also be ensured to address the issue.
While telling about the authentication of data collected by DRF, Ms Dad told that they tracked developments in terms of regulations, legislation, case law and primary sources.
While addressing the issue, Ms. Nighat revealed that:
“While researching we came across some shocking things such as how online users, especially minorities, were being persecuted and sentenced to death over social media posts
Freedom On Internet reports showed that the internet freedom in Pakistan has worsened in 2017 as compared to 2016. Pakistan ranked of 18 out of 25 for Obstacles to Access for 2016, the bar sits at 19 for the year 2017; and Violations of User Rights which sat at 31 out of 40 for the year 2016; it’s now at 32.
It means Pakistan stands at 71 positions out of 100 in overall aspects. This is two points down from last year. As a stated we should be worried about it and should take some measures to combat the issue.