PTA blocks around 824,878 URLs under PECA

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) – receiving complaints against unlawful online content – has so far blocked around 824,878 URLs under Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA).

The Authority received complaints against unlawful online content including anti-state, anti-judiciary, blasphemy etc. and to handle this gigantic role, has established the Cyber Vigilance Division (CVD).

According to PTA’s annual report 2018, a Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) for lodging complaints and their disposal has been developed accordingly and all such contents which are hosted on unsecured websites are being currently handled through telecom operators of Pakistan and same would be done by PTA itself through an automated system in future.

On the contrary, any content which is unlawful and hosted on the secured website is handled differently. The popular social media websites like facebook, youtube, and twitter etc. are a few examples of secured websites which are hosted outside of physical boundaries of Pakistan.

In this regard, PTA has developed close liaison with all such platforms to honour requests made for the removal of such content.

It is pertinent to mention that users of social media must act responsibly while using and accessing such platforms and should honour norms of society and laws of the land. In the case of objectionable content is observed by any user, these platforms are open to receive complaints from valuable users directly.

Relatively high value is given to complainant/users who report to platforms any objectionable material directly. Those complaints which are not addressed by these platforms in the first instance can be reported to PTA at for escalating the matter. It is mentioned here that historically and predominantly, PTA has been acting under functions and powers given by Pakistan Telecom (Re-organization) Act, 1996.

However, with the development and growth of the World Wide Web (www), PTA has been entrusted upon responsibilities for blocking/removing of any content declared unlawful under relevant provisions of law.

This responsibility was handed over to PTA under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA), 2016. Since the promulgation of PECA, PTA stands committed to its responsibilities to facilitate aggrieved internet users and stakeholders.