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Bolo Bhi challenges Section 9.8 of Telecom Policy in Court

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Bolo Bhi has amended its existing petition before the Islamabad High Court challenging the government and PTA’s powers to block content online, to include Section 9.8 of the Telecom Policy launched by the Ministry of IT in January 2016, which seeks to empower PTA with content management powers online. See: Application to amend plaint Application […]

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Apple versus FBI: The People versus The State

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In December 2015, an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino terrorism suspects, Syed Rizwan Farooq was seized by the FBI. However, encryption technology has allegedly prevented the authorities from gaining access to its contents. On January 16, 2016, a federal magistrate in California requested Apple to create a program that would disable key security […]

The Cybercrime Bill and Our Call-To-Action

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As of this morning, the NA Standing Committee on IT approved and passed the cybercrime bill i.e PECB2015. This was despite reservations and a press conference we held yesterday to raise the issue. The bill now moves to the floor of the assembly. You can access the version that has been passed here. (See number […]

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The Upcoming PEMRA Amendment : A Step Back For Media Freedom

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The media commission report —a Commission set up by the Supreme Court of Pakistan— released in April last year, made recommendations for media reform within Pakistan. The report suggested that the government provide a framework for guidance with checks and balances upon the media keeping in mind that it doesn’t restrict freedom of the press. […]

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Pakistan’s WordPress Ban: Flip Flop Switch

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In the early hours of March 22nd, WordPress was blocked for users within Pakistan. Like with most bans concerning Internet users in Pakistan, reports began emerging as disgruntled users started reporting the issue on social media. Soon enough, multiple national and international news outlets picked up on the reports of the blockade. This comes shortly […]

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Can Censorship Counter Terrorism?

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As the world continues to transition into the digital age, globally the fight against terror is being fought on more fronts than just the physical battlefield. As states attempt to balance matters of national security and a democratic way of life, the two are often presented as either-or options.  We are told we can either […]

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Long Story Short: Blocking on the Internet

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Here’s the long story short on blocking on the Internet: 1) Internet is a passive medium – unless you make a conscious effort to access certain content, you don’t see it 2) In rare instances when you are confronted by content you don’t want to see i.e. something appears on your Facebook or Twitter feed, […]

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Hearing 2: Bolo Bhi’s Petition Challenging IMCEW

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The second hearing of Bolo Bhi’s case challenging the legality of the IMCEW was held before the Islamabad High Court on Thursday, January 15, 2015. Counsel for the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MOITT) urged the court to vacate the stay order until the resolution of the case. However the honourable judge was of […]

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Cross Media Ownership & Media Reform

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If a democratic structure is to succeed and flourish, it is imperative that large-scale public involvement is maintained within the decision making apparatus of the State. In order to ensure individuals are capable of informed decision-making, it is necessary that a strong media institution exist within the state that has the capability of disseminating a […]