A Facebook delegation and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) have discussed Citizens Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules 2020 in a virtual meeting held, as per media reports.The Facebook delegation proposed recommendations as part of an ongoing consultation. In the meeting, both delegations exchanged views on a transparent and progressive consultation.
Facebook representatives pointed out that the rules should strive for greater transparency on content restricted in Pakistan as well as to preserve citizens’ rights to freedom of expression as guaranteed under Constitution of Pakistan incorporate due process requirements.
The meeting also discussed proposals to develop an independent oversight mechanism as required by Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA).The consultations have started since the Citizen Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules, 2020 were introduced that want foreign social media tech giants to follow a uniform standards for following country’s laws in blocking content.
It is pertinent to note that PTA Chairman, Amir Azeem Bajwa on 5 June said “PTA is ready to review the rules and power extended through it, if found to be in confrontation with the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA), 2016, the Constitution or other laws of the land.”
These meeting with the foreign social media tech giants are part of this consultation.
The PTA chairman added, No doubt there is a greater challenge of fake news, defamation, blasphemy and pornography and the recently framed rules would be further reviewed, if deemed necessary to ensure prevention of online content related to terrorism, extremism, hate speech, defamation, fake news, incitement to violence, and national security.”
Earlier, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Chairman Amir Azeem Bajwa held a meeting with Asia Internet Coalition (AIC), a representative body of tech companies and social media platforms, via video conference.
The meeting was in continuation of the ongoing consultation process over Citizens Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules, 2020.As per PTA’s press statement, in the introductory meeting, Chairman PTA and representatives of AIC exchanged views on a transparent, multi-faceted and progressive consultation process and further engagement opportunities.