Locking up the Cyberspace in Pakistan


Islamabad, Friday, February 24, 2012: The Government of Pakistan has repeatedly exhibited the obsession to lock up the Pakistani cyberspace at every given chance. The reasons for doing so are myriad and diverse, but mostly, they revolve around the same unjustifiable excuses like upholding national security, war on terror and/or religious morality.

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Bytes for All & ARTICLE 19 review Pakistan Telecommunications (Re-organization) Act 1996


Islamabad: February 23, 2012: In January 2012, Bytes for All, Pakistan team worked with legal experts at ARTICLE 19 for the analysis of the provisions of the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-Organization) Act, 1996 (with 2006 amendments) to assess their compatibility with international standards relating to the rights to freedom of expression and information and privacy.

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Moral Policing by TV Reality Shows


Islamabad, 26 January 2012: Pakistani television channel Samaa TV has recently joined the moral policing bandwagon with a show called "Subah Saweray Maya kay Sath". Briefly, the show carries various themes, however, one criminal aspect of the show is blatant violation of the citizens’ right to privacy, to say the least.

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Secure Journalists Programme


Pakistan is a developing country, which is ranked among the most populated, and to an extent an extremely important role player in shaping the last decade. Not only has it undergone drastic changes from within since the start of War on Terror, but it has also become of core importance in reflecting itself as a model target of complex present day ideological warfare and radicalization.

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Kathmandu Statement on the Internet and Freedom of Expression


We, participants in the South Asian Meeting on the Internet and Freedom of Expression, having met in Kathmandu, Nepal, on 2-4 November 2011 to deliberate on the state of freedom of expression in our region in the digital age, and coming from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Considering the importance of social media and the Internet to the growth and advancement of democracy in our region,

Have adopted the following resolution:

Access to the Internet

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Hand Mapping – Wall of Resistance: Take Back The Tech Campaign 2011


Peshawar, 3 December, 2011: Bytes for All (B4A), Pakistan and Aware Girls, Peshawar jointly organized an event to celebrate women’s power under ‘Take Back The Tech Campaign - To End Violence Against Women!’ A large number of stakeholders attended the event including civil society representatives, human rights defenders, academia, media, university students and larger women rights movement in Peshawar.

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Open Letter to the Prime Minister of Pakistan – Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)


On behalf of all concerned citizens of Pakistan, Bytes for All have sent an Open Letter to His Excellency Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, the honourable Prime Minister of Pakistan on the issue of content filtering and SMS ban directive by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). We are very hopeful that the Prime Minister will himself look into this matter for redressal of grievances as raised in this letter. The contents of this letter are pasted below.


Honourable Sir,

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Pakistan: Moral Policing – a vicious cycle


The best advice anyone can give to the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) is to stick to the task of making information and communication technologies friendly and accessible to the people of Pakistan, instead of spending their resources on the enforcement of right-wing self-righteous ideologies.

Pakistan’s e-governance setup has a severely tainted history, which clearly reflects as inefficient governance structures on the ground. While PTA should be protecting users’ rights online, it has indulged itself in senseless ideological warfare on the Internet.

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Innovation for Social Justice - Pakistan, and beyond


Pakistan, a country of countless opportunities, is also a country afflicted by wide range of social malice. With the country’s perception enveloped in negativity, it is the strongest need of the hour to intensify efforts to establish positive social reforms. To say the least, this requires a shift from raising voice to engaging in positive, participatory action.

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Pakistan: Ban on Internet encryption a violation of freedom of expression


The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority has served legal directives to all internet service providers in the country requiring that they implement an earlier regulation banning in the name of anti-terrorism all internet encryption. ARTICLE 19 and Bytes for All regard the regulation, and related provisions in the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-Organization) Act of 1996, to be in violation of international legal standards on the right to freedom of expression and the right to privacy, and call on the government to amend the laws and retract the notices served.

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