Team formed to carry out constant monitoring of anti-Islamic sites -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Team formed to carry out constant monitoring of anti-Islamic sites

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Rehman Malik on Friday constituted a team to carry out round the clock monitoring of all anti-Islamic sites and take remedial actions.

The team would be headed by Member (legal) in Ministry of Information Technology while Member (technical), Director General, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Director, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) would be its members.

The minister was chairing a meeting which was attended by secretary interior, secretary information technology, chairman PTA, additional secretary, Ministry of Interior, director FIA andother senior officers of the two ministries.

The committee will meet every week which will be duly monitored by a team of two Federal Secretaries and Chairman PTA who will keep advising the concerned authorities to enhance the monitoring system for zero tolerance on the issue. Rehman Malik noted with great appreciation that Secretary IT and chairman PTA has done very professional job for taking timely action and blocking 122 anti-Islamic attacks which were blocked in Pakistan.

The canvas of Internet is too large and needs to be monitored closely to control such blasphemous, anti-Islamic slogans, videos, audios etc. In view of the above, the meeting took some decisions which included that Pakistan would take serious cognisance of any such detrimental material to Islam and obscene material being released on the Internet and being replicated in Pakistan.

All web designers, websites, blocked sites, social media to refrain from planting any such material which may hurt the feelings of Muslims. Serious action in terms of legal action against such violators shall be taken. Moreover, it was further decided that a control room under the supervision of a Director PTA would come into force with immediate effect to have 24 hours monitoring.

It will not only monitor but also block such sites/material instantly. It has been appealed to the public that any such detrimental material coming to any body’s attention must be reported immediately to the PTA on 080055055 or such information can also be e-mailed on complaint@pta.gov.pk. It was clarified that neither YouTube nor facebook is blocked and only material detrimental to anti-Islamic material, obscene material will be blocked on case to case basis. On the matter of pre-paid Subscribers Identity Modules (SIMs), proposals have been finalized which would be placed in the larger meeting to be held next week to further finalise in consultation with all stakeholders.

The meeting noted that there were total 24 million mobile SIMs which were blocked on recommendations of Ministry of Interior during a high powered meeting and in process nobody claimed seven million mobile SIMs as they were either stolen or fake IDs. Now there are 17 million pre-paid SIMs and it has been noticed that operation of these connections have been reported to be still either fake or stolen IDs or because of inadequate information.

It has been decided that they should be got verified through a well-planned data collecting exercise without causing inconvenience to the general public. Accordingly, it is proposed that mobile service providers would be made responsible to get their respective subscribers verified through a mechanism whereby a proforma would be designed and be either got instantly verified through available electronic devices or through manual procedure of verification (thumb impression) of the respective subscribers. Time line will be decided in the larger meeting with all stakeholders.

There will be a close coordination between the IT Ministry, PTA and National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) for creating affective and efficient mechanical system to avoid complication or delays or any other inconvenience pre-empted to be faced subsequently by the people.

Moreover, increase in mobile phone sets with replicated International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers has been noticed and in this connection, Federal Bureau Revenue (FBR) has been directed to block the import of any such mobile phones with replicated IMEI and FIA has been directed to cease all such mobile phones with replicated IMEI numbers. It has also been proposed that use of stolen mobile phones will be made non-bailable offence with seven years of imprisonment.

It will be mandatory for the telephone owners to report to the police and supply police report to service providers, PTA enabling the authorities to block that mobile phone connection immediately and use of such stolen mobiles shall be controlled by PTA through a mechanism set up by PTA itself.

The meeting also decided already expired Cyber Agreement Ordinance shall be resubmitted in the Parliament with enhanced scope. A task force headed by Chairman PTA has been constituted with members, ADG FIA, Director (technical) IT Ministry and Deputy Chairman Nadra. This team will meet on regular basis and advise the government on how to enhance stopping of misuse of SIMs obtained fraudulently.

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