PTA seeks laws to block blasphemous material

STAFF REPORT IBD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has proposed to the government to enact new laws through parliament for establishing an independent department having the mandate as well as the authority to block access of links on the internet carrying blasphemous material.

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?No one is ready to take responsibility for opening up of YouTube as the PTA is just executing the orders of the Inter-Ministerial Committee and orders of other top officials,? official sources said told this scribe.

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There is nothing in the PTA act authorizing a ban on YouTube and it has been done so far on the directives of the inter-ministerial committee or the court orders. Without placing a dedicated wing, the issue of blasphemous material on the internet cannot be resolved, they added.

According to the sources, the meeting was aimed at finding out technical solutions to the lingering issue as in case of opening up of YouTube, there are 70,000 links on the internet having blasphemous material and without having dedicated staff for filtering such sites the problems will not be resolved.

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Earlier, Pakistani authorities had contacted Google to restrict the unwarranted internet sites as they did in case of India but Google authorities did not entertain Islamabad?s request.

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