At least 68 per cent of journalists in the country have faced “online insecurity” in various ways including blackmail, hacking, threats, sexual harassment, data theft and stalking, read a report issued by Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) on Friday.

Journalists who have faced digital insecurity.

The report titled “Digital (In)Security of Journalists in Pakistan” is based on a nationwide survey “on the state of security of journalists to shed light on the threats and concerns journalists face online”.

The survey was divided into two parts; the first part inquired journalists’ understanding of digital security. The second part was addressed to journalists who had experienced online threats or harassment — 68% of total respondents said they had faced online threats or harassment, hence proving that the majority is exposed to online insecurity.

This report seeks to give recommendations to lawmakers with reference to the under-consideration Journalist Protection Bill.

“The first draft of the Bill did not include provisions for the digital security of journalists, thus the aim of this report is to advocate for lawmakers to also consider that journalists be protected online to keep censorship at bay, and to safeguard their mental health, quality of work, physical security of journalists and freedom of the press,” read a statement issued by the Digital Rights Foundation.

The report also found a dire need for organisations to realise the nature of this threat and for them to conduct training for digital security and privacy.

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