Friday, March 5, 2021

Global tech titans threaten to quit Pakistan over new curbs

Facebook, Google and Twitter say the new law will shut Pakistan’s digital economy off from the rest of the world.

Other News

Daily US Covid cases below 40,000 for first time in months

This number peaked at nearly 300,000 new cases on Jan 8 in the country hardest hit by the pandemic, with more than half a million fatalities.

Tiada ‘penjajaran baru’ dengan PH, kata PAS

PAS tegaskan komited untuk mengeratkan hubungan antara parti-parti Melayu utama di negara ini.

Pelaburan, dasar industri sedang difikir semula, kata PM di sebalik amaran perangkap pendapatan pertengahan

Malaysia perlu membangunkan industri eksport dan pembuatan produk-produk kompleks dan rumit.

No ‘new alignment’ with PH, PAS says

The Islamist party says it is committed to strengthening ties among the main Malay parties in the country.

AS perketat kawalan eksport ke Myanmar

Tindakan itu diambil selepas penunjuk perasaan membantah junta tentera dibunuh.

Global technology giants including Google, Facebook and Twitter are threatening to quit Pakistan after Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government granted blanket powers to government media regulators to censor digital content.

Critics say the new powers, granted on Wednesday, are aimed at curtailing freedom of expression in the conservative Islamic nation.

The Asia Internet Coalition said it was “alarmed by the scope of Pakistan’s new law targeting internet companies, as well as the government’s opaque process by which these rules were developed”.

Under the new regulations, social media companies or internet service providers face a fine of up to US$3.14 million (RM13 million) for failure to curb the sharing of content deemed to be defamatory of Islam, promoting terrorism, hate speech, pornography or any content viewed as endangering Pakistan’s national security.

Social media companies are now required to provide Pakistan’s designated investigation agency “with any information or data in decrypted, readable and comprehensible format”, according to Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper.

The coalition said, “The draconian data localisation requirements will damage the ability of people to access a free and open internet and shut Pakistan’s digital economy off from the rest of the world.”

It added that the new rules will make it difficult for its members “to make their services available to Pakistani users and businesses”.

There was no immediate comment from Khan’s government, which has repeatedly claimed it is not against freedom of expression.

The Associated Press reports that Khan’s office had previously said the new rules were made after observing a delayed response in the removal of anti-Pakistan, obscene and sectarian-related content by social media sites since 2018, when Khan’s government came into power.

Under the new regulations, social media companies are required to remove or block any unlawful content from their websites within 24 hours after being reported by Pakistani authorities.

The latest development comes weeks after Khan’s government temporarily banned the video-sharing platform TikTok, saying it took the step after receiving complaints of “immoral and indecent” content.

Khan recently wrote to the leaders of Muslim countries calling on them to act together against Islamophobia and blasphemy.

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates: https://t.me/malaysianow

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news and analyses.

Related Articles

Zoom earnings strong at close of pandemic-plagued year

Zoom took in revenue of US$882.5 million during the fiscal quarter that ended Jan 31, in a 369% increase from the same period a year earlier before lifestyles went remote due to Covid-19.

Online shift makes body shaming easier than ever

A psychologist warns of the negative effects of such acts while a lawyer says legal action can be taken as it is considered a criminal offence.

India, Pakistan militaries agree to Kashmir border truce in rare joint statement

Kashmir has long been a flashpoint between the neighbours, which both claim the region in full but rule only parts.

YouTube to roll out parent-approved accounts for tweens

The move responds to concerns about violence and other inappropriate content which may be viewed by minors on the massive video-sharing platform.

Facebook to restore Aussie news pages as deal reached on media law

The compromise means that Facebook and Google – the main targets of the law – are unlikely to be penalised so long as they reach some deals with local media firms to pay for news.