Google, Twitter and Facebook threaten to leave Pakistan over controversial new censorship law

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Pakistan might have its biggest ever social media crisis at hand, as companies like Google, Twitter and Facebook have threatened to leave the nation after Prime Minister Imran Khan granted the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority the power to regulate digital content in the country.
The Prime Minister of the country, last week, allowed regulators to have tremendous power over content on social media platforms in the country. The move was undertaken to ensure that any digital content that “harms, intimidates or excites disaffection” towards the government would be regulated.
Moreover, companies failing to remove or block said content in a 24 hour window can face hefty fines, ranging up to $3.14 million.
This move has agitated the Asia Internet Coalition Asia (AIC), which includes the likes of Apple, Amazon, LinkedIn, SAP, Expedia Group, Yahoo, Airbnb, Grab, Rakuten, Booking.com, Line, and Cloudflare.
“The draconian data localization requirements will damage the ability of people to access a free and open internet and shut Pakistan’s digital economy off from the rest of the world. It’s chilling to see the PTA’s powers expanded, allowing them to force social media companies to violate established human rights norms on privacy and freedom of expression,” the …

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