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PTA Asks Operators To Block ‘Immoral’ Content On Internet

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In a letter, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has directed the internet operators to make sure that the ‘immoral and illegal’ content remained block in the country.

In a letter quoted by Dawn, the PTA said that a high volume of immoral content was being served through Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). It told the service providers to submit a compliance report in 10 days or face legal proceedings in case of non-compliance.

The PTA claimed that the ‘filtering mechanisms applied by the authority to block access to illegal content were bypassed due to involvement of CDNs’, the report said. “Since CDNs are either hosted in operators’ network or CDN connectivity is established by the operators, therefore it is the responsibility of the operator to ensure that no objectionable content is being served to its users,” the PTA was quoted as saying.

A CDN improves a website’s loading speed by serving the content from a location near the user. A majority of web traffic is served through CDNs, including traffic from major sites like Facebook, Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon.

The regulatory body claimed that the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016 empowered it to block/remove unlawful online content. Reportedly, it also said it was authorised to remove content over ‘defence of Pakistan, glory of Islam, indecent and immoral, impersonation/defamation, child pornography, modesty of natural person, dignity of natural person, contempt of court, public order, hate speech, (and) glorification of an offence’.

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Naya Daur