PTA receives 3000 complaints of blasphemous content on social media

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Islamabad

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication was informed here on Tuesday that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) received over 3000 complaints regarding blasphemous contents on the social media out of which 1660 websites found containing the blasphemous contents.
An official of the Authority informed that most of the websites had been blocked while the web pages of social media, such as facebook, youtube and dailymotion, containing such contents were being scrutinized by the respective social media management on the request of Pakistan government.
The meeting was held here under the chairmanship of Captain (Retd.) Muhammad Safdar and was attended by MNAs Mehar Ishtiaq Ahmad, Farhana Qamar, Zahra Wadood Fatemi, Shazia Marri, Engineer Dawar Khan Kundi, Syed Ali Raza Abidi and Shahjehan Muneer Mangrio.
The committee was further informed that a facebook delegation is visiting Pakistan next month to discuss the issue of blasphemous content on social media. The Chairman of the committee asked the ministry to also arrange a meeting of the committee with the delegation of facebook when it will arrive here.
An official of FIA told the committee that since the approval of cyber crime bill in March, 2017, the Agency had apprehended four suspects involved in posting blasphemous contents on websites.
The Committee unanimously showed its serious concerns over the issue of blasphemous and objectionable material posted on social media and asked the Ministry, PTA and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) representatives about the actions taken till date and the progress to mitigate the issues relating to this important subject.
The representatives from the ministry, PTA and representative from the FIA briefed the Committee against blasphemous and objectionable material on social media.
They also briefed about the culprits arrested across the country in connection to posting and propagation of blasphemous material. The Committee appreciated the efforts being undertaken so far by the ministry, PTA, FIA and other agencies to tackle the issue.
Meanwhile taking up on another agenda item, the representatives from Universal Services Fund (USF) gave detail briefing on USF ongoing and future projects along-with completion date and fund utilization up to 30th June, 2018.
The Committee approved the report of the Sub-Committee appointed under the convener-ship of Farhana Qamar, MNA. The Committee also appointed a Sub-Committee under the convener-ship of Farhana Qamar, MNA to look after the performance of Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB).
Senior officers from the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and Federal Investigation Authority also attended the meeting.—APP

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