Recently, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has drafted the ‘new social media rules’ to block illicit content on the internet. In addition to that, the authority also directed social media companies to set up their offices in Pakistan. The new rules were widely criticized by domestic and international bodies. However, after the release of a sacrilegious and controversial movie, Lady of Heaven on Netflix, it gave impetus to the PTA’s rhetoric of blocking harmful content. After which, the PTA has knocked the doors of the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
PTA Informs Islamabad High Court Regarding the Status of Social Media Firms
The Authority informed the Court that the famous social media websites had been asked to set up their offices in Pakistan. PTA’s counsel revealed this information before the court on a petition registered against uploading of “blasphemous” content on social media platforms along with Netflix. IHC Justice Aamer Farooq was listening to the petition registered by advocate Tariq Asad.
According to the Advocate, Netflix should be banned permanently in the country for uploading a “sacrilegious” movie. On the other hand, Google, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook should be directed to open their offices in Pakistan within six months. He also told that these websites have already been informed about the matter in hand.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority can enforce the rules once these offices are opened within the jurisdiction of Pakistan. Furthermore, according to the PTA, the controversial film’s trailer was aired on Netflix, and if it was uploaded on any other website, they would be ordered to remove it. In response, the high court has sought a report from the PTA and adjourned hearing for a fortnight.