Senate body directs FIA to stop misuse of social media

News Source: The News

Writer: Asim Yasin

ISLAMABAD: The Senate’s Committee on Cabinet Division on Wednesday took a strong notice of fake and contempt content on the social media and directed the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) for crackdown to stop the misuse of social media.

The meeting of the Senate’s committee was held here with its Chairman Talha Mehmood in the chair on Wednesday in which briefing was taken from the FIA and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on the campaign against politicians on social media.

The FIA told the committee that a crackdown had started to stop the misuse of social media and cases were being registered under the Cyber Crime Act by registering an FIR. The PTA officials told the committee that it had appointed focal persons for monitoring the websites, Facebook, WhatsApp, Daily Motion, YouTube and other social media applications, who were in contact with the PTA.

The PTA officials told the committee that guidelines were also issued to the focal persons about the social media under which actions were taken against those who upload and communicate wrong and fake content. The PTA chairman told the committee that Social Media Control Act had been enacted under which the punishment of three years and Rs10 million fine can be imposed. “Other law enforcement agencies were coordinating with each other,” he told the committee.

The PTA officials told the committee that the Islamabad High Court had taken a notice and directed the PTA that if Twitter administration did not cooperate in 15-days, Twitter be blocked in Pakistan.

The members of the committee have expressed their strong annoyance on creating fake accounts on the social media to blackmail people and said that insulting people should be stopped on the social media.

The Senate committee had formed the committee comprising officials of the FIA, the Law Ministry, Information Ministry, PTA and Cyber Crime Cell, which have been tasked to review and examine the laws and put forward their proposals to make the social media people friendly. The committee has also decided that approval would be sought from parliament to make the law stricter to stop misusing the social media.

The committee was told that there were 30.5 million Facebook users in the country, and the PTA and FIA have the authority to control its misuse and a special system could trace those who uploaded wrong, fake and abusive content on the social media.

The committee was informed that around 825,000 websites were blocked since 2012; among them 4,799 were anti-state, 3,719 anti-judiciary, 31,963 anti-religion and 768,000 porno websites.

The committee directed to take a strict action against those who were abusing the people through fake accounts and also those elements who were involved in blasphemy and blasphemous content in the country.

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