A day after the govt published rules specifying how social media would be handled in Pakistan, social media companies enacted that the new social media rules will make it impossible for them to resume their activities in the region.
Just after “Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight and Safeguards) Rules 2020” was released, social media firms threatened to shut down their operations in Pakistan. The Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) expressed its annoyance about the regulations for providing a distorted mechanism of establishment, making their activities challenging after the regulations.
In relation to the Prevention of Cyber Crimes Act 2016 (PECA), the guidelines are laid down and have been enforced on social media sites (SMPs) along with Internet service providers (ISPs). The aim is to maintain society’s rules and standards alive and to build database repositories locally. Within nine months, social media companies with more than 500,000 users could register with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) with permanent offices, preferably in the capital in order to resume their services in region. SMPs can also employ a focal person to interact locally with the government authorities. The SMPs and ISPs will be fined PKR500 million for failure to comply with these requirements.
The new rules for the creation of a database authorise government officials to access, in a decrypted, readable and understandable format, any data or details. Regulation must be provided in order to comply with society’s established values.