Insight Online News
New Delhi, Sep 22 : An international freedom advocacy group and research organisation has found Pakistan among top 10 countries in the world where Internet freedom has been on the decline and raised concerns over the rules proposed by the country that could further damage cyber liberty, Dawn reported.
In its latest report titled “Freedom on the Net 2021: The Global Drive to Control Big Tech”, the Washington-based Freedom House came up with details of cyber freedom in different countries around the world and ranked Pakistan seventh among “abusers of Internet freedom”.
Weighing different indicators of Internet freedom, the advocacy group gave reasons and facts which led to its ranking. Discussing data sovereignty as an excuse for surveillance, it cited examples of different countries and highlighted the situation in Pakistan where the government has recently introduced new regulation for Internet users and service providers, the report said.
“In some cases, such data localisation requirements have been introduced in the context of content regulation,” said the report. “Pakistan’s proposed Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight and Safeguards) Rules, the latest version of which was published in November 2020, outline requirements for social media companies to establish one or more data servers in the country.”
The report expressed concern over the proposed regulation in the country which, it said, would lead to negative impact on social media companies and also the users. “Pakistan’s proposed rules have raised alarms about their impact on end-to-end encryption. The draft requires social media companies and service providers with more than 500,000 users to hand over personal data in a decrypted and readable format when requested by the Federal Investigation Agency,” it added.
In its key findings, the Freedom House said global Internet freedom had declined for the 11th consecutive year. The greatest deteriorations, it added, were documented in Myanmar, Belarus and Uganda, where state forces launched crackdown amid electoral and constitutional crises.
Myanmar’s 14-point score decline is the largest registered since the Freedom on the Net project began.
IANS / AGENCY