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Authorities Have Blocked Thousands Of Websites To Counter Terror and Hate Speech

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Islamabad

The National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) has said that it has blocked thousands of websites over hate speech and links to terrorism.

NACTA briefed the National Assembly Standing Committee on Defence that it had received complaints of hate speech against 17,116 websites. It added that 2,273 websites had been blocked for hate material, 1,943 websites for hate speech and 68 for links to terrorism.

The counter-terrorism authority has also blocked 9.81 million unverified SIMs, out of which 340,000 belonged to foreigners.

The senate committee was informed that the Federal Investigation Agency dealt with cybercrime and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority examined the material that needed to be deleted.

The PTA chairman apprised legislators that action was taken by the authority when it was made aware of derogatory material. He added that majority of such material was posted from abroad.

The PTA chairman further stated that the telecommunication authority took action after it was given reports by 31 agencies. He added that 900,000 websites and posts had been blocked, out of which around 800,000 consisted of pornographic material.  

He added that blocking websites was not a solution to the problem as they could not block everything. The chairman added social media websites only listened to some of their complaints.

Moreover, Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak, seemingly dissatisfied with the performance of PTA and NACTA, said that these institutions were giving government officials data but had not informed them about the steps taken to prevent the crime.  

The committee chairman also expressed disappointment over the steps taken to fight cybercrime. He stated that the problem of cybercrime was important and specific issues in the fight against cybercrime should be pointed out so that legislation regarding the matter could be put forth.

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