ISLAMABAD: A leading media rights watchdog has slammed new regulatory measures for social media platforms in Pakistan.

According to a draft of the law, the new measures announced earlier this week would pave the way for allowing Pakistani authorities to ask for the removal of content, disable encryption, and demand companies open offices and host data centres inside the country.

“These stringent but vague rules approved by Pakistan’s federal cabinet threaten the ability of journalists to report the news and communicate with their sources,” said Steven Butler, Committee to Protect Journalists’ Asia programme coordinator.

“The cabinet should immediately reverse course and seek broad consultations with legislators and civil society, including the media, on how to proceed with any such regulations.”

Facebook declined to comment on the new measures when contacted, while Twitter and YouTube did not respond to inquiries.

Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2020

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