Pakistan is all set to roll out new internet rules that critics say will give the government wide powers of censorship after rejecting requests from social media companies for consultation.
Muslim-majority Pakistan already has media regulations that adhere to conservative social customs. Last month, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) blocked TikTok for failing to filter out “immoral and indecent” content.
The new rules were approved initially by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s cabinet in February.
They give the PTA “removal and blocking” powers of digital content that “harms, intimidates or excites disaffection” towards the government or poses a threat to the “integrity, security and defence of Pakistan”.
A service provider or social media company could face a fine up to 500 million rupees (Dh11.5 million) for non-compliance, which