Digital media giants Facebook, Twitter and Google have threatened to suspend their services in Pakistan after Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government approved new social media regulations in the country.
Through a group called the Asia Internet Coalition (AIC), the digital giants have written a scathing letter to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. The AIC called the rules “vague and arbitrary in nature”. The companies warned that “the rules as currently written would make it extremely difficult for AIC members to make their services available to Pakistani users and businesses.”
The Asia Internet Coalition is an industry association that promotes understanding and resolution of Internet policy issues in the Asia-Pacific region.
“We are not against the regulation of social media, and we recognize that Pakistan already has an extensive legislative framework governing online content. However, these rules fail to address critical issues such as internationally recognized rights. to individual expression and privacy, ”added AIC.
Under the new rules, Pakistan has made it mandatory to open offices for social media companies in Islamabad (capital of Pakistan). In addition, the country has asked these digital giants to build data servers to store information and remove content after identification by authorities.
In addition, thanks to this new digital censorship law, authorities will be able to take action against its citizens if they are found guilty of targeting state institutions at home and abroad on social media.
Government failure will result in heavy fines and possible termination of services.
“In case of non-compliance within 15 days, he would have the power to suspend their services or impose a fine of up to 500 million Pakistani rupees.”