SOPA & PIPA Act — Pakistan’s Bizarre Approach to Counter Cyber Terrorism

If you thought only the United State government loves censorship, you are wrong — Here are some shocking revelations about Pakistani Sopa & PIPA.

Cyber terrorism is the main area of concern to every government and head of state nowadays but some governments adopt a completely disoriented approach to counter the threat of cybercrime by introducing laws that impose unnecessary limitations on internet usage on ordinary citizens. The latest example is of the Cybercrime Bill under the umbrella of Pakistan Protection Act that has been moved by the federal government in order to curb the incidence of cybercrime. 

Pakistani government is trying to counter cyber terrorism with an utterly outlandish approach since the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) & PIPA Act that’s soon going to be passed by the parliament gives sweeping powers to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority/PTA (The same authority who has blocked YouTube and blocked WordPress for no reason).

pakistani-sopa-pipa-act-counter-cyber-terrorism

The idea was to prevent cyber crimes but surprisingly the bill entitles PTA to block anything, confiscate an electronic device for up to 90days and arrest just about anyone without a warrant for conducting an investigation. It is a rather alarming call to action because the bill will make internet usage a nuisance for citizens instead of convenience.

Listed below are some of the negative effects that the bill may cause to ordinary internet users once it has been passed.

* Express Permission, a type of written approval, will be required by users to message anyone through an electronic medium such as an SMS, Facebook message and/or a Tweet. In case you don’t have the permission, you may get arrested

* No user will be allowed to post and share memes about politicians with the photoshopped or deformed image, and the violation of this law can send you behind bars for at least 14years.

* Your electronic device such as mobile, laptop and/or tablet can be confiscated by an investigation officer anytime and for any particular reason if the officer suspects anything against the state, religion, state’s ideology and the parliamentarians. Violation of this rule will make you eligible for a jail term.

* Officers won’t need a warrant for confiscating your electronic device or interrogating you.

* Any sort of vulgarity will be strictly prohibited. Even if some hint of derogatory language is observed such as “Yaar tu *%&*#@& hai” (dude you are an a*****e) you can be charged for obscenity.

* Whenever and wherever you use public WiFi, you will be tracked and the traffic data will be recorded, which will be used if an investigation is initiated against you

* According to the Bill, public WiFi hotspot can be anything, for instance, your home router can become public WiFi if you forgot to keep a security password.

* The bill requires you to keep track of the traffic data and maintain updated record of data usage because you will have to prove your innocence if an investigation is conducted against you.

* Unauthorized access of a WiFi will be considered acquiring “unlawful” entry to the web for malicious purposes.

* Any obscene or derogatory content on your website targeting Pakistan, Islam and/or the Parliamentarians will result in blocking of your website by PTA without prior notice and explanation. You will also receive a jail sentence.

These startling aftereffects of the aforementioned bill can easily ruin the future of innocent Pakistani citizens. Once it has been passed, it will become a permanent part of Pakistan Panel Code if Senate approves of it and this means the prospects of Pakistani nation flourishing in the cyber world are bleak if such enormous restrictions and obligations are forcefully imposed on internet users.

Personally I think these bills have been drafted to silent political rivals rather than those supporting terrorism.

Waqas

Waqas Amir is a Milan-based cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Waqas is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.