[Press Release] Research Launch: Conflicting with the Constitution - Privacy Rights & Laws in Pakistan

Islamabad, November 13, 2014: Bytes for All has launched a new report titled, 'Conflicting with the Constitution - Privacy Rights & Laws in Pakistan.' This report surveys the state of laws and policies in Pakistan that are connected, directly or indirectly with the citizens’ right to privacy. This report puts forward a baseline of laws guiding the exercise of privacy rights in Pakistan and in doing so sets guidelines for relevant stakeholders to set direction for reformative effort. 

Be it the Snowden revelations or other forms of evidence against the involvement of both national and international governments in heavy surveillance of citizens, the world now knows that citizen privacy is being compromised in ways that cannot be deemed legal under any circumstances. Pakistan is no different. Journeying through both national and international laws and conventions, the report analyzes various sorts of legal implications on privacy rights. 

Bytes for All expresses a deep sense of urgency in highlighting the fact that it is essential for all stakeholders, be it the government, the civil society, the corporate sector or the public, to make timely and concentrated e fforts for legislative reforms that are rights friendly and offer safeguards for this basic right of the citizens.

Building upon the conclusions of the report, Bytes for All, Pakistan recommends for the development and passing of a privacy protection act, which would pave way towards the formation of a privacy commission, the creation of a privacy protection index, and the initiation of a mass awareness campaign to guide Internet user regarding their privacy rights.

Among other important recommendations, the development of an effective judicial tribunal aimed at addressing privacy intrusion and surveillance issues is also the need of the day. Given the multitude of threats faced by Pakistan, the report also recommends that it is important to define the scope of surveillance and limit it to known terrorist or terrorist organizations who have threatened to wage a war against the state, and have engaged in or planned to engage in terrorist activities against civilians. The report also calls for attention towards the lack of an anti-cybercrimes legislation in Pakistan and the need for the government to revise the existing works in progress to make them human rights based.
 
An e-copy of the report can be downloaded from the following link: click here
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About Bytes for All, Pakistan

Bytes for All (B4A), Pakistan is a human rights organization and a network of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) professionals and practitioners. It experiments and organizes debate on the relevance of ICTs for sustainable development and strengthening social justice movements in the country. Its mission is “ICTs for development, democracy and social justice”. www.bytesforall.pk

For more information:
Bytes for All, Pakistan
Islamabad, Pakistan
email: info[at]bytesforall.pk
Tel. +92 51 2110494-9