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Facebook, Twitter uncooperative in addressing cyber crime complaints: FIA

Updated April 08, 2019

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Director FIA Afzal Mehmood Butt told the committee that the Cyber Crime Wing received 29,577 complaints regarding social media over the last two years. ─ Dawn/File
Director FIA Afzal Mehmood Butt told the committee that the Cyber Crime Wing received 29,577 complaints regarding social media over the last two years. ─ Dawn/File

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Monday told the National Assembly's standing committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication that Facebook and Twitter's uncooperative response makes it difficult for the agency to resolve cyber crime complaints.

FIA Director Afzal Mehmood Butt, while apprising the NA body, said that the agency received 29,577 complaints regarding social media over the last two years.

He said that of the total complaints, 9,822 pertained to fake social media accounts, of which 8,723 complaints were resolved by shutting down the said accounts.

The official told the Ali Khan Jadoon-headed committee that it received complaints against 34,846 URLs (webpages), of which it took action against 28,460 URLs and shut them down.

Butt further said that since Aug 2016 it has received 15,433 complaints regarding Facebook, 6,067 regarding Twitter and 3,143 regarding Whatsapp — all of which are currently being worked on.

The official said that Facebook and Twitter's response in addressing their concerns is "not good", which makes it harder for it to resolve complaints.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Chairman Amir Azeem informed the committee that the PTA has so far blocked 1,684 websites and social media accounts for spreading hateful content.

Jadoon, the committee chairman, told the FIA official that the procedure of registering cyber crime complaints "is very lengthy, needs simplification and awareness regarding it should be raised at the very lowest level".

The committee members also advised the FIA to make its complaint registration process simpler and safer for women.

The FIA official told the committee that the cyber crime wing is short on manpower and has a total staff of 114 officials, adding that appointments on 407 additional posts would be completed soon.