Can More Transparency Push For Accountability?
Through a Freedom of Information Request Filed on February 12th 2014, Bolo Bhi got access to a Government document. This document has never been released before.
So how does internet censorship work in Pakistan? Who controls it? And under what laws?
The Inter ministerial board
for the evaluation of
websites (IMCEW) reportedly issues orders
for blocking to Ministry of IT which passes it on to PTA(regulator). The final
orders are sent from
PTA to ISPs So what is the IMCEW?
What functions does it have?
Who is part of the committee?
When was it formed?
The inter ministerial committee
the evaluation of websites was
constituted in August 2006 by
the orders of the Government
of Pakistan. Its stated purpose was
to formalize a procedure for blocking
of websites Who is part of the IMCEW?
According to official document obtained
by Bolo Bhi. The IMCEW, at the time of its constitution,
1)Secretary of IT (Convener)
2)Nominee of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting
3)Nominee of Ministry for Interior
4)Nominee of Cabinet Division
5)Telecom Expert from Ministry of IT
6)Nominee of InterServices Intelligence Agency (ISI)Eight years after the constitution of
IMCEW there is no public record
of the committees meetings,
a takedown procedure has never been made
public and internet regulation in Pakistan can
be best described as arbitrary and ad hoc
The legality of internet regulation in Pakistan,
can PTA issue notifications?
what is the legal standing of IMCEW?
Pakistan will be one of the economies
contributing to the next billion users
on the web. Without transparency
and accountability, the
fate of the next billion users
largely depends on the whims
of those the corridors of power.
We work everyday to question the current system.
It is time for Pakistan's own bill of rights.