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Govt to revise social media laws, says Shafqat Mahmood

Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood said that the government will revise notification of The Citizens Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules, 2020.
While talking in a private news channel, the federal minister said that the bill was not finalised yet, adding that the meetings are being conducted to discuss it further and will amend the issued notification.
He added that “The act is being revised”.
Earlier, the federal cabinet endorsed the law, making it compulsory for social media companies to register and open offices in the country.
On Tuesday, the US State Department's Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs also termed the social media restrictions as " setback to freedom of expression & development of digital economy" in the country.
New restrictions on social media platforms in could be setback to freedom of expression & development of digital econ. Unfortunate if Pakistan discourages foreign investors & stifles domestic innovation in such a dynamic sector. Encourage discussion w/ stakeholders. AGW
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The law requires social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok and others to build data servers in Pakistan within a year, get registered and appoint a representative who will deal with a government-constituted authority.
The new law will bound the social media companies to provide data of accounts found guilty of posting objectionable content /various crimes — including targeting state institutions, issuing statements that harm national security or uploading blasphemous content — to intelligence and law enforcement agencies (LEAs), spreading fake news, hate speech and using social media platforms to post content engaging in harassment.
Under the rules, social media platforms will be required to remove any ‘unlawful content' pointed out to them in writing or electronically signed email within 24 hours and in emergency cases within 6 hours.

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