Pakistan government is outlining new rules to remove or block illegal content from social media

social media

ISLAMABAD: To counter the flow of illegal, blasphemous, obscene or defamatory content on social media, the government has introduced new rules requiring service providers to remove or block access to certain online content.

According to sources, the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications has asked the Cabinet Committee on Legislative Settlement (CCLC) to approve the 2020 Regulation on the Removal and Blocking of Illegal Content (Proceedings, Supervision and Guarantees), recently drafted.

Under the new rules, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) will not restrict or disrupt the flow or broadcast of online content, except to remove and block access to online content that violates the rules. interests of Islam, integrity, security and defense. of Pakistan, public order, public health, public safety, decency and morals. It would also remove or block content that constitutes an offense under different sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), 1860 or the Code of Criminal Procedure (PCC), 1898.

Any social media company or service provider would be required to post community guidelines for using an online system, and these guidelines should instruct the user not to host, view, upload, edit, publish, stream, upload, update or share online content that belongs to someone else; to which you are not entitled; or blasphemous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, pedophile content; invade the privacy of another person; negatively impacts Pakistan’s religious, cultural and ethical sensitivities; pretends to be someone else; threatens the integrity, security or defense of Pakistan; or cause inducement.

The social media company and service provider with more than half a million Pakistani users in Pakistan or the social media companies specially notified by the authority must be subject to the provisions of the law, including registering with the authority and establishing permanent headquarters in Pakistan with a physical address, preferably located in Islamabad. The two above actions must take place within nine months of the application of these rules.

The PTA deals with complaints about illegal content online that may be brought by a guardian who has been harmed by the online content or by a ministry, division, sub-division, subordinate office, state or local department or office. , a law enforcement agency. law or an intelligence agency. government, or an enterprise owned or controlled by the government.

The PTA registers the complaint and ensures that the online content and the identity of the complainant remain confidential if necessary. Likewise, the PTA will not disclose such online content or the complainant’s identity to anyone directly responsible for receiving and handling complaints. The Authority will decide within thirty days on a complaint in accordance with Rule 5. The PTA may approve any warrant in writing and record the reasons for its removal or blocking decision or give instructions to the concerned offender in accordance with the requirements of Section 37 (1 ) of the law.

While orders are being approved, the PTA provides stakeholders with twenty-four hours notice to comply with the instructions for removing or blocking access to online content and any other instructions provided in the order.

The PTA may ask the service provider, social media company, information system owner, website owner or web server and user to remove and block access to online content. the subject of the complaint. in an emergency within six hours, and the authority will specify in writing the reason for the emergency.

“In the event that the service provider, social media company, information system owner, website or web server owner and user do not remove or block the content is online or does not comply with the Authority’s instructions under sub-rule (2) within the specified timeframe, the Authority may take legal action against a service provider, a social media company, the owner of an information system, the owner of a website or a server, website and user by law, ”the documents said.

In addition, the Authority may instruct stakeholders to protect information, including traffic data. The authority may call upon the expertise of any person when dealing with the complaint against the online content where it deems appropriate.

While orders are being approved, the PTA notifies stakeholders twenty-four hours in advance to comply with the instructions for removing or blocking access to online content and any other instructions in the order.

The APP can ask the service provider, social media company, information system owner, website or web server owner, and user to remove and block access to content online. the subject of the complaint. in an emergency within six hours, and the authority will specify in writing the reason for the emergency.

“In the event that the service provider, social media company, information system owner, website or web server owner and user do not remove or block online content or fail to comply with the Authority’s instructions in accordance with sub-rule (2) within a specified period of time, the Authority may take legal action against a service provider, a social media company, the owner of an information system, the owner of a website or server, a website and a rightholder, ”the documents indicated.

In addition, the Authority may instruct interested parties to protect information, including traffic data. The authority may draw on everyone’s experience to deal with the complaint against the online content when it considers it appropriate.

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