Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has approached Twitter, warned to immediately block/remove malicious trends and tweets vilifying the superior judiciary of the country.
According to the report, revealed on Tuesday that PTA has approached the top management of Twitter at its regional headquarter in Singapore in order to block malicious trends. As per sources, in recent days and weeks, there were certain Twitter trends where the judiciary was slandered after the verdict on cases of political nature.
Also, the PTA contacted Twitter many times in the past, but such trends continued. The telecom regulator issued an official statement in this regard, saying that “Twitter has particularly been informed that presence of such content and trends do not come under the definition of freedom of expression”.
“Such content must be taken down instantly as ‘Contempt of Court’ is one of the categories that hold high priority for the Authority,” read the statement.
The PTA warned the social media site, stating that “the platform has also been directed to effectively and expeditiously respond to PTA’s requests for removal of illegal and harmful online content to avoid any legal action”.
Meanwhile, the sources further said that the PTA has written an official communication by citing article 37 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA).
Article 37 of PECA stated that the unlawful online content could be blocked as;
(1) The Authority shall have the power to remove or block or issue directions for removal or blocking of access to information through any information system if it considers it necessary in the interest of the glory of Islam or the integrity, security, or defence of Pakistan or any part thereof, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court or commission of or incitement to an offence under this Act.
(2) The Authority shall, with the approval of the Federal Government, prescribe rules providing for, among other matters, safeguards, transparent process, and effective oversight mechanism for exercise of powers under sub-section (1).
(3) Until such rules are prescribed under sub-section (2), the Authority shall exercise its powers under this Act or any other law for the time being in force in accordance with the directions issued by the Federal Government not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act.
(4) Any person aggrieved from any order passed by the Authority under sub-section (1), may file an application with the Authority for review of the order within thirty days from the date of passing of the order.
(5) An appeal against the decision of the Authority in a review shall lie before the High Court within thirty days of the order of the Authority in review.