Friday – The government’s new social media policy was criticised in the Senate, as lawmakers accused the government of bypassing the parliament in drafting the rules.
We had been assured that the new rules [regarding digital media] would be brought before the Senate committee but they were not brought before us,” stated PPP Senator Rubina Khalid while raising the matter in the House.
Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party Senator Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar opposed what he called the government move to “control social media”, saying that people are not being allowed to use social media the country.
Social media companies will be required to submit information including that pertaining to subscribers, traffic data, content data to a designated investigation agency when sought. If the companies fail to do so, they can be fined up PKR 500 million. Companies who do not comply with the rules may be blocked online.
The companies will also be required to establish an office in the capital, Islamabad, within the coming three months and appoint a focal person. Any content pointed out as “unlawful” via writing or electronically-signed email to the companies will have to be removed within 24 hours, or 6 hours incase of emergency.