Watchdog slams PTI authorities on new social media measures

170

Watchdog slams PTI authorities on new social media measures

ISLAMABAD: Committee to Protect Journalists’ criticised the Pakistani authorities on the brand new regulatory measures focusing on social media platforms in Pakistan the place the media have been subjected to rising censorship and strain following the election of Prime Minister Imran Khan in 2018.

According to a draft of the regulation seen by AFP, the brand new measures introduced earlier this week would pave the best way for permitting Pakistani authorities to ask for the elimination of content material, disable encryption, and demand corporations open workplaces and host information centres contained in the nation.

“These stringent but vague rules approved by Pakistan’s federal cabinet threaten the ability of journalists to report the news and communicate with their sources,” mentioned Steven Butler, Committee to Protect Journalists’ Asia programme coordinator.

“The cabinet should immediately reverse course and seek broad consultations with legislators and civil society, including the media, on how to proceed with any such regulations.”

Pakistan’s science and know-how ministry Fawad Chaudhry defended the measures.

“Now we have a regulation to control the harmful content on social media, but it has nothing to do with the political content,” the minister advised AFP Friday.

“If anyone has a better suggestion for this mechanism and to support freedom of expression, we will listen.”

Pakistani authorized knowledgeable Yasser Hamdani nonetheless described the measures as “unconstitutional”, saying the regulation was “designed to curb freedom of speech and expression in the country”.

Facebook declined to touch upon the brand new measures when contacted by AFP, whereas Twitter and YouTube didn’t reply to inquiries.

In latest years the area for dissent has shrunk additional in Pakistan, with the federal government asserting a crackdown on social networks and conventional media homes decrying strain from authorities they are saying has resulted in widespread self-censorship.