PTA blocks 1862 websites, fake accounts
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has processed a total of 1,862 URLs/websites containing contents related to impersonation/fake accounts. In accordance with the Section 37 of Prevention of Electronic Crime Act (PECA), the PTA is empowered to block / remove online content which is unlawful under the act including fake accounts.
The PTA has constituted a dedicated cell ‘Web Analysis Cell (WAC)’ to receive / process complaints requiring internet content regulation. A standard operating procedure (SOP) has been devised to execute the process in an effective manner.
In accordance with the SOP, complaints from individuals and stakeholders (government departments) requiring blocking / regulating web content of different categories including defamation / impersonation are received through an electronic portal, email and postal media.
At present, 30 federal and provincial government organisations / offices are assessing e-portal to register their complaints. For filing of complaints by general public, the PTA has notified a dedicated email address i.e. email@example.com.
On receipt of a complaint, the PTA issues necessary directions for blocking / removing the alleged content to telecom licensees. In case any content for fake account hosted on a secured platform like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the relevant administration is requested to remove the content or block the fake account.
Since laws of Pakistan do not apply on such platforms, therefore, they take action in accordance with their community standards. As far as the content removal/blocking for impersonation / fake account is concerned, the PTA has processed 1,862 such URLs/websites including 106 pages of Dailymotion, 923 accounts of Facebook, 13 of Instagram, 341 Twitter accounts, 268 accounts of YouTube, and 211 others. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has raised a Cyber Wing which reported about 85 fake accounts including 13 Facebook and 72 Twitter accounts.