August 14, 2018

Body to block blasphemous content on internet

News Source: Dawn

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Tuesday told the National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Technology that a high-level committee was being formed to monitor and block blasphemous content on the internet.

“The committee, being constituted by the Ministry of Interior, will include representatives from PTA, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and the ministry,” PTA Chairman Dr Ismail Shah told the committee.

The body had met to discuss steps taken by the regulatory authority to block blasphemous material on the internet.

Dr Shah told members that blasphemous material was being uploaded on the internet in different forms, such as literature, pictures, audio and video, etc. The identification of blasphemous material without human intervention is not possible, he added.

He said the PTA had deployed a team of 25 IT personnel for this purpose and so far, the authority had been able to block more than 13,000 blasphemous links.

“Given the fact that a huge amount of content is being uploaded on the internet, it is almost impossible to restrict and block any one or more of the content categories completely,” Dr Shah said.

He said other complaints of harassment were sent to the concerned organisations, such as the FIA.

Written by

Talal Raza is a Program Manager at Media Matters for Democracy. He has worked with renowned media organizations and NGOs including Geo News, The Nation, United States Institute of Peace and Privacy International.

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