Revisions to Social Media Rules will be Presented within fortnight

A few months ago, under Section 37 of the Act to Deter Cyber Crimes, the federal government announced social media laws. These laws are intended to avoid the float of illicit online content by any information mechanism. They are titled, removed, and blocked by Rules 2020 (Procedure, Monitoring, and Safeguards) of Unlawful Online contents. However, they only sparked uproar among citizens rather than make any substantive improvements. The best way forward was to review the Social Media Rules.

Both the Internet Service Providers (ISP's) were brought in line with social media firms and all of the social media network provisions were introduced for ISPs. In these rules, ISPs requested modifications because it would only place an extra burden on these rules. Moreover, some digital activists have felt that, with the exclusion of the deletion of the provision on the creation of the Office of National Coordinator, the government dismissed all interests of interested parties. The laws were objected to and requested by all tech giants such as Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Twitter, and the Digital Rights Foundation of Pakistan (DRM).

The High Court of Islamabad (IHC) eventually reluctantly gave the federal government a date of 2 April to modify the current laws governing social media. The committee to review social media laws was set up by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The committee will complete and share recommendations/revisions of the social media laws by Dr. Shireen Mazari, Federal Minister of Human Rights and Chairperson, within the span of four weeks.

Wait to see the recommendations made by the Commission on new social media laws, and stakeholders will welcome them or not.