The Government notified rules that describe how social media will be governed in Pakistan. Technology companies announced that the policy would make it difficult for them to continue their operations in the country. That is why different companies threaten to leave Pakistan upon Social Media Policy if implemented.
The Rules Titled, “Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight and Safeguards) Rules 2020,” has been framed under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2106 (Peca).
The Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) expressed its alarm over the scope of the new act targeting internet companies as well as the government’s “opaque process” by which these regulations were developed. It is alarming if any company leaves Pakistan upon Social Media Policy.
The Prime Minister Imran Khan had promised to initiate a “broad-based” conference on content regulation after a strong reaction of formally known as the Citizen Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules 2020, earlier this year.
“The tech companies warned that the policies would make it extremely difficult for AIC members to make their services available to Pakistani users and businesses.”
Under the new rules, social media companies shall provide the selected investigation agency with any information or data in decrypted, readable and complete format. Such rules and regulations can affect the business and its services in Pakistan upon Social Media Policy.
The AIC said: “the draconian data localization requirements will harm the ability of people to access a free and open internet and lock Pakistan’s digital economy off from the rest of the world.”
So the companies said, it was disturbing to see the PTA’s power extended, allowing them to force social media companies to disobey established human rights norms on privacy and freedom of expression.
Since February when the rules were first released, the AIC has repeatedly urged the government to accept a comprehensive consultation policy. Earlier in October, the AIC has uttered its reservations over the consultation method in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Imran Khan.
In response to the notification of rules by the government, on Tuesday the AIC said, “If Pakistan wanted to be a gorgeous destination for technology speculation and realize its goal of digital transformation, than it should effort with industry on practical, clear rules that guard the benefits of the internet and keep people secure from harm.” Government should care about it, because it is a big industry, which is giving a lot. If don’t care then many companies can leave Pakistan upon Social Media Policy which is arriving.