Some set of rules become problematic in this connected world especially when they have some relations with any global bodies. One such set of rules is Pakistan’s amended social media rules. Though, the government made some changes after criticisms from all sides. However, according to the social media firms, the problematic provisions remain unchanged in the revised draft and they are in fact “regressed” if we compare it with previous versions.
Tech Firms Not Happy Over Govt’s Revised Internet Rules
The third and latest version of the social media rules titled the ‘Removal of Unlawful Online Content Rules 2021’ was released by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT). In an email, AIC Managing Director Jeff Paine said,
The Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) and its member companies are disappointed with the proposed revisions. Despite promises of change, barely any changes were made to the draft of social media rules for the third time, regrets a stakeholder. Despite repeated feedback from the industry over several months, the draft rules still include a number of problematic provisions such as data localization and local presence requirements that undermine the country’s digital growth and transformation agenda.
The AIC and its fellow companies continue to have problems with numerous aspects of the rules, including decryption of data, a fixed number of a turnaround for blocking content, local presence requirements including data localization, and the capability of government agencies to make confidential content removal requests, among others.