The Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) in a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan said it was “deeply concerned” by the lack of consultation regarding the Citizens Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules 2020 and urged the Prime Minister to share a draft with industry for feedback.
Recent reports indicate that the government has already outlined new Rules that are ready to be approved, said the AIC. These developments – in particular the lack of transparency – are very concerning, said the industry body, adding that the consultation process appears to have lost credibility.
Some civil society, academics and tech companies have highlighted that the rules should: strive for greater transparency on content restricted in Pakistan; preserve citizens’ right to freedom of expression as guaranteed under Pakistan’s Constitution; incorporate due process requirements; and develop an independent oversight mechanism as required by PECA.
The AIC called on the government to hold multi-stakeholder dialogue to shape policy that will drive innovation in Pakistan.