August 20, 2019 | 7:32 PM IST
pakistan media

Pak now keeps tabs on social media posts of its people

Pakistan government and its spy agency ISI are secretly watching its own netizens to see what they are up to. Reports claim that in the past 18 months, scribes, activists and government opponents at home and abroad have been spied upon and threatened of legal action for their posts.

Social media forums like Facebook and Twitter that have been the soundboard for many has changed in the recent past. Three months back, in February, the Pakistan government announced that it had created an enforcement wing that would root out social media users spreading hate speeches and violence. Columnist Gul Bukhari, who was kidnapped by unidentified men in 2018, is of the opinion that the attack on social media has been strategically organised.

Similarly, another scribe, Rizwan ur Rehman Razi was arrested on grounds of publishing ‘defamatory and obnoxious’ content against the state. He had written against the extra-judicial executions allegedly committed by the security forces. Though he was released after two nights in custody and since then he has not tweeted and his earlier posts too do not exist on his twitter handle, says another report.

Cyber experts in Pakistan strongly feel that the move is an example of increased harassment of civil rights activists, the political opposition and bloggers. They also feel that it has made possible the 2016 law that prohibits online posts that are deemed to compromise state security or offended anything from the glory of Islam to non-defined notions. Those found guilty can face up to 14 years of imprisonment.

It may also be noted that Facebook also more content in Pakistan than in any other country in the first half of 2018.

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