Global tech giants Facebook, Twitter, Google and many others have threatened Imran Khan-led Pakistan to leave the country over the new censorship law, allowing local authorities to regulate the social media sites and control the online content. According to the new law, granted by the government of Imran Khan, which proposed a new law in February 2020, which grants the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) a free hand to “remove or block” content deemed unfit.
The Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) threatened to retreat after Islamabad granted enhanced powers and stated that the move aims at curtailing freedom of expression in the conservative Islamic nation. AIC is a grouping of the major tech giants like Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Amazon, Google, LinkedIn, SAP, Yahoo, Airbnb.
The AIC is upset because under this rule they will need permission for the PTA to remove content deemed harmful, intimidating or exciting disaffection towards the government or content deemed harmful to the integrity, security, and defence of Pakistan.
Adding, the new law imposes a fine of up to $3.14 million on social media companies failing to remove or block the “unlawful content” within 24 hours of notice from authorities.
Earlier in February, social media giants had written a letter to Pakistan government and demanded to reconsider the new rules and regulations that censor the online contents.