The Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) which comprises of major social media and tech giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter has expressed concerns over the new social media rules (Citizen Protection Rule) that Pakistan government is introducing.
According to the AIC, if these new Citizen Protection Rules if not revised will lead to suspension of services by these companies in Pakistan.
The AIC has written a letter addressed to the Prime Minister Imran Khan stating that the new rules will make it very diffucult to provide services to Pakistani users.
They also went on to state that these new rules will seriously impede the the growth of Pakistan’s digital economy.
The letter by AIC addressed to PM Imran Khan said:
The rules as currently written would make it extremely difficult for AIC Members to make their services available to Pakistani users and businesses,
According to this new law, The Citizen Protection Rules, all social media giants are required to register and set up offices in Pakistan along with their data servers in the country.
The companies will also be required to block content or remove content related that “violates or affects the religious, cultural, ethnic or national security sensitivities of Pakistan”
The AIC has expressed concern saying that the these rules go against the human rights practices allowing privacy and freedom of expression urging the Government of Pakistan to reconsider these rules.
The letter to the Prime Minister read:
The Rules demand that social media companies deviate from established human rights practices concerning user privacy and freedom of expression,
We urge the Government of Pakistan to consider the potential consequences of the Rules in order to prevent unexpected negative impacts on Pakistan’s economy.
The new rules will also allow law enforcement authorities to obtain data to accounts and take action.