Home Technology Amendments In Cyber Crime Bill Necessary To Protect Privacy And Freedom Of...

Amendments In Cyber Crime Bill Necessary To Protect Privacy And Freedom Of Speech

Amendments In Cyber Crime Bill Necessary To Protect Privacy And Freedom Of Speech 

Islamabad, July 23, 2016: The state has obligations and binding commitments to protect the right to information and freedom of expression of its citizens, which are being curtailed in the Cyber Crime Bill.

Picture - JI RT July 23 2016 This was the assertion made by participants at the Jinnah Institute round table titled “Beyond the Firewall: Freedom of Speech in a Censored Democracy”.  Among the issues identified at the roundtable was a lack of clarity as to what constitutes an offence under the Bill. Participants noted that confusing Cyber crime and cyber terrorism has meant that very high punishment has been proscribed for cyber crime. They suggested that the Anti-Terrorism Act, which already includes surveillance mechanisms for electronic terrorism, should be used to monitor and punish cyber terrorists.Participants urged that it was important to distinguish between matters of national security and public interest, to ensure that the powers granted for surveillance and investigation are not misused. It was suggested that subsections within the law which negatively impact freedom of expression should be identified and accordingly amended. It was noted that the proposed bill does not distinguish between telecom offences, cybercrimes and others, and has increased the liability placed on businesses and service providers. This has led to an increase in censorship on social media and other platforms, which are important tools for citizen awareness and collective action. PEMRA’s recent bans on movies, television shows and advertisements were used as examples to highlight the recent increase in electronic censorship.With media expanding in Pakistan, there is definitely need for regulation, but not at the expense of privacy. Under the bill, investigative officers are not subject to a fixed procedure of accountability when they follow up on complaints, and can use acquired data as per their discretion. As there is no data protection legislation present, participants acknowledged that the retention of data runs contrary to the right of privacy.It is a very critical time to take action on the Cyber Crime Bill, as changes will go back to National Assembly and elongate the process. It is essential to identify exactly where curtailments are coming from and how citizens can approach it, in order to safeguard freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution.Jinnah Institute is an independent public policy think-tank whose mandate is to bridge the gap between citizens and state by articulating policy responses based on inclusive research, and creating awareness, expanding knowledge bases and facilitating the implementation of recommendations for policy-makers. 

Must Read

Mobilink Microfinance Bank joins the coveted global club of ACCA Approved Employers

Mobilink Microfinance Bank Ltd. (MMBL), Pakistan’s largest digital bank, has been recognized as an Approved Employer for its outstanding employee development and training initiatives...

TECNO brings exciting discount offers on Daraz Mobile Week 2021

Lahore – Friday, June 18, 2021: TECNO brings exciting offers for the fans on the Daraz Mobile Week 2021. There will be up to...

vivo Introduces Amazing Offers for Daraz Mobile Week 2021

vivo presents amazing offers to its customers in collaboration with Daraz.pk for Daraz Mobile Week 2021 starting from June 16, 2021. The customers are...

Jazz partners with Sinch to secure A2P messaging for its mobile subscribers

Sinch’s Managed SMS Firewall and A2P Services to deliver spam and fraud protection for 69 million Jazz subscribers     Islamabad – June 16, 2021: Sinch AB...

realme Brings Jaw Dropping Discounts on Daraz Mobile Week 2021

Lahore, Pakistan – Thursday, June 17, 2021: The month of June is getting more excited for realme fans as the company has brought in fantastic...