Govt urged to review Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill
QUETTA: The Balochistan-Internet Policy Observatory Pakistan (iPOP) and a coalition of digital rights organisations, technology companies and IT security experts have urged the government to review the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill, 2015, which has been adopted by the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on IT and Telecom.
Arzak Khan, the head of iPOP, said on Sunday that the bill in its present form had failed to offer a comprehensive solution to cyber security threats.
“The government must review the law and not pass such a bill that imposes a fake compromise between security and our most basic rights.”
Take a look: Electronic Crimes Bill 2015: Big brother (and his brothers) are watching you
He urged the government to consult all stakeholders, including civil society, research institutes, think tanks, IT experts and most importantly, people who used internet before passing any legislation.
“The Internet Policy Observatory Pakistan strongly opposes the bill in its current form. The growth of IT and telecom industry is the key to socio-economic development of Pakistan, but the current bill, instead of creating an enabling environment and promoting internet access, is expected to stifle innovation and diffusion of internet.
“Internet is a great tool for development and we must take advantage of the positive aspects of this technology without suffering an undue loss to our civil liberties under the euphemism of ‘national security and protection of society’,” Mr Khan said.
“The Internet Policy Observatory Pakistan totally rejects Minister for IT and Telecom’s claims of the consultative process being open and transparent. The bill was edited with military level secrecy and all stakeholders concerned were kept in the dark. I believe that the bill will not take Pakistan to the next level of economic development but will pave way towards choking off access to the internet in the name of ‘information security’ an understatement for censorship.”