Tracking Laws

PECA Record

Click here to see a record of cases under the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act 2016:  PECA Record up until 31 August 2019

Note on the Implementation of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016

The following note was prepared for the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Human Rights, meeting held May 20, 2019 | PDF here When the National Action Plan (NAP) was rolled out in 2014, one of the 12 points pertained to curbing extremist content and hate speech online. The need to bring laws in conformity with NAP was […]

Our Official Correspondence Problem: Section 37

On January 21, Nida Kirmani and Reema Omer received notices from Twitter Legal via email, alerting them their tweets had been reported. Twitter had received “official correspondence” claiming the content was “in violation of Pakistan law.” This generated a fair bit of outrage – mostly directed at Twitter – for colluding with the government. As […]

Data Protection Law

The introduction of a draft law on data protection and privacy by the IT and telecom ministry is a welcome step. In the absence of such a law, Pakistani citizens have had their privacy breached and personal data leaked and used without their consent a number of times by individuals, companies, and the state. It […]

Bolo Bhi’s Written Submission in IHC Case

On November 20, 2017, Bolo Bhi submitted written arguments in its ongoing case challenging the Federation of Pakistan and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s (PTA) powers to issue directions and block content on the Internet. In December 2014, Bolo Bhi filed a petition before the Islamabad High Court challenging the legality and constitutionality of the Inter-Ministerial […]

Summary: Senate Standing Committee on IT’s subcommittee meetings on PECB

Below is a summary of the discussion and outcomes of the two meetings held on June 29 and 30 by the Senate Standing Committee on IT’s subcommittee, tasked to review the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill. The meetings were chaired by Senator Osman Saifullah Khan. These were attended by Senators, representatives from Ministry or Law and Ministry of […]

PECB: Comparison of April’15, Sept’15 and Apr’16 versions

On April 13, 2016, the National Assembly of Pakistan passed the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill. Take a look at our comparison of the April 2015, September 2015 and April 2016 versions of the bill here. PECB Comparison New by Bolo Bhi Download September 2015 version here: Download April 2016 version here: Take a look […]

Opposition Comments on PECB

The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill (PECB), after being passed by the National Assembly of Pakistan on April 13, 2016, has now moved to the Senate. It is on tomorrow’s (May 17, 2016) Orders of the Day. We take a look at the commitments by those in opposition, to stop this bill from passing in its current […]

JAC Calls upon Opposition Parties to Resist PECB on Floor of Assembly

Joint Action Committee Calls upon Opposition Parties to Resist PECB on Floor of Assembly For Immediate Release April 10, 2016: The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill (PECB) has been on the Orders of the Day twice during last week’s National Assembly session. Due to the focus on the Panama leaks, the House has been preoccupied […]

Bolo Bhi challenges Section 9.8 of Telecom Policy in Court

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 […]

Archive: Bolo Bhi’s Petition Before IHC

December 12, 2014: Soft Copy of Petition December 29, 2014: Petition Annexure December 29, 2014: 2006 Notification: Constituting document of the IMCEW from August 29, 2006 December 29, 2014: 2012 Policy directive issued to PTA March 30, 2015: Notification: IMCEW Denotified May 1, 2015: Bolo Bhi’s Rejoinder to Federal Government February 29, 2016: 1)    Application […]

Amendments to PECB in the National Assembly

The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2015 has drawn opposition across parties. Below are amendments fielded by legislators from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Shazia Marri’s dissent note and amendments  MQM’s amendments submitted by Syed Ali Raza Abidi and signed by other MQM legislators PTI’s amendments submitted by […]

Archive: YouTube Ban

Archive: YouTube Ban April, 2013: Submissions to court made by Farieha Aziz (amicus) from April to July, 2013 (policy and technology perspectives) June 9, 2013: Submission by Khurram Zafar (amicus) on home-based blocking vs state blocking July 4, 2013: Google’s letter to court July 25, 2013: PTA’s submission to court Part 1 | Part 2 […]

Archive: Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016

June 18, 2019: Content Blocking, Restriction and Takedown Requests 2017-2019 June 18, 2019: Record of PECA Cases Before Courts in Karachi (until May 31, 2019) May 20, 2019: Note on the Implementation of PECA – submitted to NA Standing Committee on Human Rights May 9, 2019: Record of Petitions Against FIA, PTA and PECA April 16, […]

Stop PECB: Write to Speaker, National Assembly

Citizens of Pakistan have grave concerns regarding the government’s proposed Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill. Despite reservations that have been raised at public forums, in the media and sent in writing addressed to the Standing Committee on IT, and through members of parliament, the bill has been approved a second time by the Standing Committee […]

JAC Calls Upon Opposition Parties & Senate to Amend PECB15

For Immediate Release August 21, 2015: On May 3, the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on IT invited public input on the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2015, in writing via email, within seven days. On May 7, collectively, 10 organizations under the umbrella of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) submitted consolidated comments and requested a meeting. […]

Joint Action Committee Submits Legal Redraft of PECB15

On August 11, 2015, industry groups and digital and human rights organizations, under the umbrella of the Joint Action Committee, submitted their proposed revisions on the government’s draft Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2015. This was emailed to the NA Standing Committee on IT & Telecom’s secretary and will be followed up by posting hard […]

PECB2015: The Story So Far

PECB2015: The Story So Far PECO (Pakistan Electronic Crimes Ordinance) was promulgated by then President Pervez Musharraf in 2007. Since it was an ordinance, it lapsed in 2009. PECO was criticized for its over broad language in particular and, when an attempt was made to enact it as a law, it was opposed by industry […]

UPDATE: Meeting On Pakistan’s Electronic Crime Bill

Update on today’s meeting: When we found out that the invitation to today’s standing committee on IT meeting had been further restricted to 5 people and all JAC members had been discluded except our Director Farieha Aziz (the committee itself decided I should represent JAC as you might have seen in the papers), we decided […]

Citizens and Industry Refute IT Minister’s Statements & Demand Proper Public Hearing

  PEC Bill/2015:  INDUSTRY AND CIVIL SOCIETY ACTIVISTS STRONGLY REFUTE IT STATE MINISTER’S DELIBERATE DISTORTIONS AND ALLEGATIONS AND DEMAND PUBLIC HEARING 20 May 2015   We, the Joint Action Committee on the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Bill 2015 (PECB) & Alliance For Access, reject and take strong exception to statements made by Minister of State for […]

PECB2015: Consolidated Comments & Request for Public Hearing Submitted

As per the official call for public input on the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2015 issued by Chairman NA Standing Committee on IT, the Joint Action Committee on May 7, 2015, submitted consolidated comments aggregated by input from citizens, industry and media. This can be viewed here: Request for Public Hearing and Consolidated Comments […]

In Media: Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2015

FAQs: Prevention of Electronic Crime Bill 2015

FAQs What is the PECB? PECB stands for Prevention of Electronic Crime Bill 2015. Is it the first time a cybercrime law has been tabled? PECO (Pakistan Electronic Crime Ordinance) was promulgated by Musharraf in 2007. Since it was an ordinance, it lapsed in 2009. There was huge uproar against it because innocent people were […]

Bolo Bhi’s Meeting and Our Call-To-Action On Cybercrime Bill

A meeting was held at The Nest I/O in Karachi on April 17th, 2015, facilitated by the Bolo Bhi team, consisting of Director Sana Saleem, Program and Outreach Manager Madiha Latif, Gender & Tech Research Associate Ghausia Rashid Salam, and Research Associate Yelmaz Mujtaba. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the government’s proposed […]

The Cybercrime Bill and Our Call-To-Action

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 […]

Press Conference: Joint Action Committee on Cyber Crime Bill 2015

A joint press conference was held at the National Press Club in Islamabad on April 15, 2015, addressed by Wahaj us Siraj, Convenor Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan (ISPAK), Farieha Aziz, Director Bolo Bhi, Syed Ahmad, Spokesman Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) and Khwaja Saad Saleem, Vice President ISPAK. The purpose of this press […]

Bolo Bhi Resources on Cybercrime

Bolo Bhi Resources on Cybercrime

Writing On The Wall

View and share the entire poster series on Facebook here.

What’s Brewing: Pakistan Government’s Proposed Cybercrime Law

We believe we have obtained a version of the government’s modified cybercrime bill. Background: ISPAK (Internet Service Providers Association), P@SHA (Pakistan Software Houses Association) and the Ministry of IT & Telecommunications, after consultations agreed to a stakeholder draft (please note though no civil society organization or members were privy to this). This was then sent […]

Tracking Cyber Crime Legislation

Tracking Cyber Crime Legislation

Pakistan’s Cybercrime Bill 2015: Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Breath

UPDATE: Bill has not been approved. Chairman NA Standing Committee on IT has formed a 4-member committee of MNAs to review and amend it within 14 days and finalize. Today, on February 4, 2015, proposed cybercrime legislation ‘Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2015’ was approved by the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information Technology. This […]

Hearing 2: Bolo Bhi’s Petition Challenging IMCEW

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 […]

Petition Annexure

BEFORE THE ISLAMABAD HIGH COURT, ISLAMABAD W.P. NO. 4994/2014  WRIT PETITION UNDER ARTICLE 199 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN, 1973 READ ALONG WITH ALL OTHER ENABLING PROVISIONS OF THE LAW INDEX OF DOCUMENTS   DOCUMENT ANNEXURE     Notification of the Ministry of Information Technology dated 29.08.2006 B   Reports by the […]

Some Disclosure At Last

On December 12, 2014, Bolo Bhi filed a petition challenging the legality of the IMCEW. On December 15, our petition came up for a preliminary hearing before Justice Athar Minallah at the Islamabad High Court.  [Read details of hearing and petition here] Two documents obtained through our freedom of information requests were brought to the court’s […]

Hearing 1: Bolo Bhi’s Petition Challenging IMCEW

On December 12, 2014, Bolo Bhi filed a writ petition in the Islamabad High Court, challenging the legality of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the Evaluation of Websites (IMCEW).  [More details in our press release here] The preliminary hearing was held on Monday, December 15, 2014 before Justice Athar Minallah. Bolo Bhi was represented through its legal counsel, […]

The IMCEW and PTA Challenge

The IMCEW and PTA Challenge Media coverage of Bolo Bhi’s petition challenging the IMCEW: https://bolobhi.org/resources/timelines/tracking-bolo-bhis-imcew-petition/

In Media: Tracking Bolo Bhi’s IMCEW Petition

In Media: Tracking Bolo Bhi’s IMCEW Petition 12th December 2014 – Bolo Bhi files a petition challenging the legality of the IMCEW 14th December 2014 – Dawn News covers Bolo Bhi’s petition against the IMCEW 15th December 2014 – The Islamabad High Court passes a stay order preventing the IMCEW from ordering the censorship of […]

Bolo Bhi Files Petition Challenging Legality of IMCEW

Bolo Bhi Files Petition Challenging Legality of IMCEW December 14, 2014: Bolo Bhi has filed a writ petition in the Islamabad High Court challenging the legality of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the Evaluation of Websites (IMCEW), with the aim of having it declared unconstitutional.  Constituted through an executive order in 2006, the IMCEW, since then, has […]

The Pakistan Penal Code and Online Content

In April 2014, Facebook released its second transparency report. This showed that they had complied with a Pakistan government request for restriction of content on the basis of ‘criticism of the state’ in compliance with ‘local law’ (see report here). [See also Facebook Transparency Report: Since When is Criticism of the State Illegal in Pakistan] […]

Sindh High Court Website Censorship Timeline

12th March 2014 Petition Filed in the Sindh High Court to Lift Arbitrary Bans on Websites A group of concerned students and citizens filed a petition in the Sindh High Court, demanding the government be ordered to cease its policy of arbitrarily barring websites and restoring access to websites that had been blocked nation-wide. 20th […]

Peshawar High Court YouTube Case Timeline

16th May 2013 YouTube Ban Challenged in the Peshawar High Court A Senior Attorney of the Supreme Court of Pakistan has challenged in Peshawar High Court the ban placed on social media website YouTube, pleading that the site should be unblocked. 10th January 2014 PTA Ordered to Provide Documentation A two-member bench of the Peshawar Higher […]

The Protection of Pakistan Act

Bolo Bhi FOI Request: What is the IMCEW?

Technology Experts Submit Report to the LHC in YouTube Case

On an order dated March 13, 2014, the divisional bench hearing the ‘YouTube case’ issued directions Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunications (MOITT) to meet with four court-appointed technical experts from the private sector, the technical team of PTA and the Ministry to “evolve a joint strategy” to remove objectionable content from YouTube. […]

Submission to Court in YouTube Case: May 13, 2014

Date: May 13, 2014 Writ Petition 958­2013: BytesforAll vs Federation Lahore High Court Submitted to: Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah & Justice Atir Mahmood Honourable Sirs, Below is a summary of the discourse that has taken place in court over the last year, on lifting the ban on YouTube, and input that has been gathered […]

National Assembly Unanimously Passes Resolution to Lift Ban on YouTube

Islamabad 07/05/2014: The National Assembly of Pakistan unanimously passed a resolution, calling upon the ruling Party to lift the ban on YouTube. This resolution was tabled by Member National Assembly Ms Shazia Marri of the PPP (Pakistan Peoples Party). Ms Marri had tabled a resolution to lift the ban on YouTube on April 1, 2014, […]

Senate Human Rights Committee Passes Resolution to Lift Ban on YouTube

For Immediate Release Islamabad 21/04/2014: The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights unanimously passed a resolution to lift the ban on YouTube. Chairman of the Committee, Senator Afrasiab Khattak had earlier tabled a resolution to lift the ban on YouTube but it did not make it to the Senate’s agenda. Today, the committee unanimously passed […]

Dissecting Proposed Cybercrime Legislation: A First Look

Introduction: An article published in yesterday’s Dawn provided great detail of a cybercrime legislation drafted by Akram Sheikh Associates, commissioned by the government. Following are some initial and immediate concerns that the proposed legislation raises. Conclusion: The proposed legislation does not reflect a clear understanding of digital space or medium, and lacks adequate safeguards that […]

YouTube Case Updates by Bolo Bhi

Bolo Bhi’s Submission to Court in YouTube Case: August 2 (Part 2)

Writ Petition 958-2013 BytesforAll vs Federation Date: August 2, 2013 Submitted to: Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah                           Lahore High Court Honourable Sir, I submit before you four letters. The first of them is by Talea Zafar and Rabia Garib who run ToffeeTv.com. […]

Bolo Bhi’s Submission to Court in YouTube Case: August 2 (Part 1)

Writ Petition 958-2013 BytesforAll vs Federation Date: August 2, 2013 Submitted to: Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah                              Lahore High Court Honourable Sir, During the hearing held on July 25, 2013, you raised the question whether there is data available on how […]

Submissions to Court by Others in YouTube Case

Listed below are submissions made by other parties in the on-going YouTube case being heard at the Lahore High Court. July 4, 2013 Khurram Zafar (amicus): Lifting the YouTube Ban in Pakistan – A Possible Solution Google’s response to court through MoITT (was provided to be submitted on July 4 but was not discovered in case […]

Bolo Bhi’s Submissions to Court in YouTube Case

Below is a list of documents Bolo Bhi’s Director Farieha Aziz (appointed amicus curiae in YouTube case on April 4, 2013) has submitted to court in the BytesforAll vs Federation ‘YouTube case’. We will keep updating this list as more submissions are made. April 12, 2013 1. YouTube to Remain Blocked in Pakistan 2. YouTube […]

Tracking Laws: Freedom Of Information Act

1/1/1990 Tabling of Freedom of Information Bill as a Private Bill The dismal state of governance in Pakistan can largely be attributed to the lack of freedom of information, which retards the capacity of the citizens to effectively monitor 1/1/1994 Second Tabling of Freedom of Information Bill The second bill on the subject was moved […]

Tracking Laws: Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act

January 21, 2010 Senate Passes Bill Against Harassment Of Women At Workplace The Senate passed a bill to further amend the Pakistan Penal Code 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898 against sexual harassment at the workplace, amid strong criticism from religious parties. January 22, 2010 Pakistan Clears Landmark Bill Against Workplace Harassment Overcoming […]

Tracking Laws: Anti-domestic Violence Act

February 16th 2006 Domestic Violence In Pakistan: Legislation Still Pending The proposed bill, ‘The Prevention of Domestic Violence Bill, 2005’ is meant to rectify current shortcomings in the law by recognizing domestic violence as a free-standing crime. At present the Bill has been summarily dismissed by the Speaker of the National Assembly off the agenda, […]

The Prevention of Anti-Women Practices Act (Criminal Law Amendment)

Prevention of Anti-Women Practices Act (Criminal Law Amendment) March 2, 2005 Pakistan Rejects Pro-Women Bill Women’s rights groups want strict legislation against honour killings. The Pakistan government has allied with Islamists to reject a bill, which sought to strengthen the law against the practice of “honour killing” November 13, 2006 Islamic Opposition Against Women’s Bill During […]

Timeline: The Prevention of Anti-Women Practices Act (Criminal Law Amendment)

Prevention of Anti-Women Practices Act (Criminal Law Amendment) March 2, 2005 Pakistan Rejects Pro-Women Bill Women’s rights groups want strict legislation against honour killings. The Pakistan government has allied with Islamists to reject a bill, which sought to strengthen the law against the practice of “honour killing” November 13, 2006 Islamic Opposition Against Women’s Bill During […]

Tracking Laws: Acid Control and Crime Prevention Bill

Trigger Warning: The Post Contains Graphic Images. Please scroll down for timeline in text.  January 5, 2010 – Pakistan’s Acid Attack Victims Pin Hope On New Laws A growing amount of victims hope that the government passes a new legislation to control the sale of acid and increase punishment for acid attacks. The industrial-strength acid […]

Legislations

The Constitution of Pakistan Pakistan Penal Code 1860 Code of Criminal Procedure 1898 Electronic Transactions Ordinance 2002 Pakistan Telecommunications (Re-Organization) Act 1996 with 2006 Amendments Freedom of Information Ordinance 2002 Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Act 2010 Prevention of Anti-Women Practices (Criminal Law Amendment) Act 2008 The Protection Against Harassment of Women at the […]