For Immediate Release
E-Crime Bill: Exclusion Of Civil Society Not Acceptable
Contact: Sana Saleem CEO – Bolo Bhi
KARACHI June 7: Bolo Bhi, a rights based organization for advocacy, policy and research expresses grave concerns regarding the exclusion of Civil Society Groups from discussion on Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2010. We have learnt that a meeting was scheduled by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on the 6th of June’2012 to discuss the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2010, a selective committee was informed and invited to participate. The PTA Chairman issued invitations to head of the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Mobile Operators for input whereas business groups and civil society were kept out of the discussion. However, the meeting could not take place as scheduled for reasons unknown.
We feel strongly about the exclusion of the civil society from the discussions on the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2010. This is unjustifiable and makes any discussions on the said legislation incomplete. We insist that the National Assembly Standing Committee on IT as well as this Select Committee include civil society organizations in the process.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, National Assembly Standing Committee on IT and Select Committee must realize that the civil society played a vital role in highlighting the loopholes that caused Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2010 to lapse and allowed its subsequent redrafting.
Civil society’s involvement is crucial at every step of the process on Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2010. A multi-stake holder approach to policy and legislation is the only way to ensure successful drafting and implementation.
Bolo Bhi means ‘Speak up’, we are an organization with focus on advocacy, policy and research. Our focus areas include human rights with focus on gender and minority rights, internet freedom and privacy. We believe it is crucial to bridge the gap between rights advocates, policy makers, media and average citizens. Bridging the gap enables collective strength and concentrated focus on the areas that require attention.
Previous statements related to E-Crime Legislation & Policy:
- Internet Censorship in Pakistan: Need for dialogue, framework and transparency
- Civil Society Against Blanket Ban of The Internet in Pakistan: Stop the Firewall
- Call for Transparency on Proposal for URL Filtering and Blocking System