Individual content on foreign social media platforms ‘can’t be blocked’: PTA

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Wednesday informed a parliamentary body that the authority cannot block a specific individual unlawful online content present on secure social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, but it can shut the whole site.

A senior official of the PTA, while briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior, met with Raja Khurram Shahzad Nawaz in the chair, regarding unknown Facebook account “Buner Times” circulating wrong statement on behalf of MNA Sher Akbar Khan, said that the PTA can only take action against social media platforms existing in the country with respect to unlawful online content but the authority could not block unlawful content present on foreign social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.

“PTI write letters to YouTube and Facebook for blocking individual contents but these platforms have their own community laws and they take decisions as per these laws,” he said, adding that the PTA is dependent on foreign social media platforms operating in Pakistan regarding removal or blocking of unlawful online content.

He further said that under Section 37 of the PTA of Prevention of Electronic Crime Act, the PTA has been empowered to remove or block or issue directions for blocking or removal of unlawful online content.

The PTA has devised a standard operating procedure (SOP) for lodging complaints, he said, adding that an online portal is provided to stakeholder organisations to lodge complaints accord to their domain.

Currently, there are 38 stakeholders including Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the Intelligence Bureau (IB), provincial home departments, provincial counter-terrorism departments etc, he said.


The official said that the authority has also publicised an email address i.e. [email protected] for lodging complaints regarding online unlawful contents and authority can also be approached through fax and conventional mail.

Nawaz expressed annoyance over absence of director cybercrime FIA in the meeting and directed senior officials of the Ministry of Interior to ensure his presence during the next meeting.


Source: Business Recorder

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