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 


 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,
consisted of:
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.