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Senator Rehman Malik Calls Out PTA for a Twitter Ban

The government has been urged by the Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunications to initiate an agreement with Twitter management for sharing information about fake accounts and blocking these consequently.

It was further urged by the Senate that a warning may be issued for stopping the microblogging and social networking service from working in Pakistan in case of non-cooperation.

The PTA apprised the committee that Twitter is not cooperating in closing down the fake accounts being operated with various names.

Senator Rehman Malik said that Twitter management should be asked to close the fake accounts and if it does not happen then the PTA should issue a warning that Twitter will be stopped from working in Pakistan.

The committee recommended the government for initiating an agreement with Twitter management so that information on fake accounts can be shared as well as for identifying accounts that are involved in defamation and harassment.

The chairperson raised questions about the fake Twitter account being operated with the name of Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan. The member of the PTA said, “We have made a request to Twitter for closing fake accounts operating with the fake names, but unfortunately, it is not cooperating with us.” He said, however, one fake account operating with name of Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan has been closed down.

Malik asked PTA to send a delegation to the Twitter headquarters for conveying the concerns of Pakistan about fake accounts with various names. He further said that Twitter’s management should be asked to close the fake accounts and if it does not happen then PTA should issue a warning that Twitter would be stopped from working in Pakistan.

The PTA officials said that the Authority always takes strict action on the complaints of individuals. The chairperson also took notice of incidents of breach of privacy of citizens and said that it is unfortunate that two girls namely Hareem Shah and Sundal Khattak had become top trends on Twitter.

90% Unlawful Content Removed by TikTok

Image result for hareem shah sundal khattak tiktok

According to PTA, it has processed over a hundred videos containing unlawful contents for removal and over 90% of the content was removed by TikTok. The PTA has been ranked number one government entity in terms of overall complainant satisfaction on Pakistan Citizen Portal (PCP). With a complaint resolution rate of 94%, the PTA is amongst the top ten government entities with a successful resolution of complaints on PCP.

Malik said the action of the two girls to breach privacy should be considered a cybercrime. Senator Faisal Javed said the privacy of an individual should not be breached. “Disturbing of privacy of any individual should be discouraged. Cyber Crimes Wing of FIA wing is not implementing the laws,” he added.

Dua Mangi Case

Image result for dua mangi

The committee also directed the PTA to refer the case of use of derogatory remarks and character assassination of Dua Mangi by social media users to FIA and make it an example by identifying the people involved and giving them strict punishment for offence under section 21 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016.

According to PTA, it has not received any direct complaint from the aggrieved person for initiating action under PECA; however, based on the information shared through the Senate secretariat, the PTA identified 17 URLs containing the contents maligning the modesty and character of young girl Dua Mangi. The same URLs have been processed for blocking under section 20 of PECA as the URLs contain explicit comments with respect to moral character, attire and general reputation of the victim. These include 16 Facebook and one twitter URL.

The committee expressed displeasure overtaking the PTA rules to the cabinet without consulting the committee despite its earlier directions and directed to bring the rules to the committee.

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