Freedom of Expression

Content Blocking, Restriction and Takedown Requests 2017-2019

Content Takedown Requests, Restrictions and Removals

Petitions Against FIA, PTA and PECA

Below is a record of petitions filed against the Federation of Pakistan, Pakistan Telecommunications Authority and the Federal Investigation Agency for exercise of power, abuse of authority, violation of fundamental rights – espeically freedom of expression – and due process of law, in connection with the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016. PDF here. […]

Summons, Enquiries, FIRs, Detentions and Arrests in Connection with Social Media Posts

The table below is based on information available in news reports, online and legal documents. It records incidents between 2017-2019, where legal action under existing laws has been taken against individuals on the basis of their social media posts, which includes issuance of summons, initiation of enquiries, registration of FIRs, detentions and arrests. Download PDF […]

Stirring Up Hatred

The definition of hate speech is contested and controversial, especially in relation to trampling on free speech. What is important is to consider the context of each society’s dynamics, and observe the dangers different types of speech can pose to be able to draw lines between hate speech and free speech. However, in our context, […]

Bolo Bhi launches study, hosts first Multi-stakeholder Internet Policymaking Dialogue

Tuesday, 21st November 2017 – Bolo Bhi hosted a policy dialogue on Internet Policymaking in Pakistan at the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) in Islamabad. The event featured the launch of Bolo Bhi’s research paper on the Internet Policymaking landscape in Pakistan that was published in collaboration with the Internet Policy Observatory and the […]

YouTube launches .pk domain in Pakistan

As of January 12, 2016, a .pk version of YouTube has been launched in Pakistan. This launch was announced on the Google Asia Pacific blog, and is part of a three-country launch: Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan. What is the specific nature of the agreement reached between the government of Pakistan and Google/YouTube to enable […]

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 […]

Can More Transparency Push For Accountability?

The Upcoming PEMRA Amendment : A Step Back For Media Freedom

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. […]

Pakistan’s WordPress Ban: Flip Flop Switch

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 […]