PTA issues notices to Google, Wikipedia for 'disseminating sacrilegious content'

Published December 25, 2020
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Friday issued notices to Google Inc and Wikipedia for "disseminating sacrilegious content" through the two platforms.— Photos AFP
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Friday issued notices to Google Inc and Wikipedia for "disseminating sacrilegious content" through the two platforms.— Photos AFP

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has issued notices to Google Inc and Wikipedia for "disseminating sacrilegious content" through the two platforms, it emerged on Friday.

In a press release, the authority said it has been receiving complaints regarding "misleading search results associated with 'present khalifa of Islam' and an unauthentic version of the Holy Quran uploaded by the Ahmedi community on Google Play Store".

Being a matter of a very serious nature, the PTA has approached Google Inc with directions to immediately remove the unlawful content, the statement said.

"The platform has been issued the notice under the Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight and Safeguard) Rules 2020 to remove sacrilegious content to avoid any legal action by the regulator."

The authority added that complaints were also received regarding hosting blasphemous caricatures of Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and dissemination of "misleading, wrong, deceptive and deceitful information" through articles published on Wikipedia portraying Mirza Masroor Ahmad as a Muslim.

"After extensive communication on the matter, Wikipedia has been finally served with the notice to remove the sacrilegious content to avoid any legal action," the statement said.

In case the platforms remain non-compliant, the PTA shall be constrained to initiate further action under Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 (PECA) and Rules 2020, the statement said.

Opinion

Editorial

Election time
Updated 27 Jan, 2023

Election time

There are concerns whether the ECP will be sufficiently able to protect the integrity of elections if they are held under partisan governments.
SCO invite
27 Jan, 2023

SCO invite

THOUGH India’s invitation to Pakistan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation events in Goa later this ...
Call to arms
27 Jan, 2023

Call to arms

ONE way the state abdicates responsibility in Pakistan is by farming out its functions to the private sector. In ...
Nuclear miscalculations
26 Jan, 2023

Nuclear miscalculations

IF the claim of former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, that Pakistan and India came close to a nuclear exchange...
Exchange rate cap
26 Jan, 2023

Exchange rate cap

THE ‘management’ of the exchange rate by the State Bank, allegedly at the behest of the government, to ward off...
Fawad’s arrest
Updated 26 Jan, 2023

Fawad’s arrest

Does the state really need to fan public discontent in a period as fraught with uncertainty as this?