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US Diplomat Alice Wells says Social Media Laws could be setback for Pak economy

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  • Post category:Featured / USA
  • Post last modified:25/02/2020
  • Reading time:4 mins read

US top diplomat for SA Alice Wells has stated that new restriction on social media could be a setback to freedom of expression and development of digital economy.

She took to the Twitter today to hold: “Unfortunate if Pakistan discourages foreign investors & stifles domestic innovation in such a dynamic sector. Encourage discussion with stakeholders.” 

Relevant pieces published earlier: 

Govt. approves rules to regulate Social Media

ISLAMABAD:  As soon as the Federal Cabinet has approved new Social Media rules, government has announced it was forming an authority in order to regulate Social Media websites.

According to details, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Tick Tok, will have to get registered and establish an office here within three months.

Global social media platforms and companies will have to appoint a focal person in Pakistan and within a year they will have to build a data server in the country.

New rules will allow the authorities to take action against those posting contents against national institutions and sovereignty.

Within 15 days the government will appoint a National Coordinator who will be responsible for coordination, advising the federal and provincial governments and engaging with social media companies.

NC will also have the power to summon focal persons of any company to discuss how they operate their businesses. NCA, on complaint of harassment or objectionable content, will suspend a social media account.

The new rules empower Ministry of Information and Telecommunications/National Coordinator to ask any Social Media company to remove, suspend or disable access to such content within 24 hours. In urgent cases the material will have to be removed within six hours.

The new rules have been made part of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act.

PFUJ rejects the so-called PEMRA proposals to control Internet TV and Social Media

12th of February, 2020

KARACHI: G. M. Jamali, President Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and Secretary General Rana Mohammad Azeem have rejected the so-called PEMRA proposals to control the internet TV and Social Media and termed it tantamount to put another embargo on the freedom of speech and expression promised by the Constitution for the people of Pakistan.

President PFUJ GM Jamali and Secretary General Rana Muhammad Azeem are of the view that the PEMRA is making an effort to silence the critical voices who are continuously criticizing the government policies to aware people of the country and a steps to curtail the freedom of the people of Pakistan.

GM Jamali and Rana Azeem held: “The government agencies have already been busy in controlling the voices of the critics on the regular Print and Electronic Media while some famous critics are giving tough time to the authorities on Social Media. The government is making an effort to control such critics through PEMRA regulation in the name of putting some code of ethics in place for Social Media, including Web TV and OTT.”

The PFUJ understand that Social Media should frame its own code of ethics to be implemented for positive use of the most popular Social Media, web TV and OTT. PFUJ further pointed out that hundreds of the journalists were attached with the Social Media and performing their professional duties while earning their livings so they should not be put under a compulsion to get registration and licences against heavy financial fees to run their Web TV & OTT channels.  

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.