A bill requiring social media companies to register and open offices in Pakistan approved by the cabinet – Research Snipers

A bill requiring social media companies to register and open offices in Pakistan approved by the cabinet

A new set of rules has been approved by the federal cabinet on Wednesday to regulate the social media platforms in the country.

According to the details, the cabinet approved a bill to regulate social media, requiring companies such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and even TikTok to register themselves and open their offices in Pakistan as proponents of Internet freedom worry that the legal document would be used to keep social media giants in check.

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A senior official in the IT ministry confirmed that the federal cabinet had approved the legal document and the rules and regulations have been included in the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016.

According to the details of the law, all the global social media companies would have to register themselves in Pakistan within the period of three months and open their offices in Islamabad within the same time period.

After the approval, all the social media companies are bound to appoint a representative in Pakistan to deal with a national coordination authority, which would be responsible to regulate the content of the social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others.

In order to take action on time against the people involved in targeting state institutions, spreading fake news and hate speech, engaging in harassment, issuing statements that harm the national security or uploading blasphemous content, the law requires the social media companies to set up data servers in Pakistan within the period of one year and make compulsory for them to provide the data of the account to the intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

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