The Standing Committee on Defence of the National Assembly was briefed on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and other social media platforms’ compliance, as well as the country’s cybercrime action.
During the meeting, which was chaired by MNA Amjad Khan, it was revealed that 94,000 cybercrime complaints were filed in the country last year.
The Committee expressed its concern with Secretary of State for the Interior’s absence from the meeting.
During his briefing, Special Secretary M/o Interior informed the Committee that on the 13th of August 2020, a preliminary meeting on cybercrime-related issues was held in the M/o Interior under the chairmanship of Additional Secretary M/o Interior.
He also stated that a Coordination Committee had been formed under the chairmanship of Joint Secretary (FIA), M/o Interior, and that the first meeting of the said Committee was held on October 6, 2020 to discuss recommendations/proposals for amendments to the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act (PECA), 2016.
He further stated that during the Committee’s meeting, a thorough report would be delivered. Concerning cybercrime and other issues, the Committee found a lack of coordination between the Ministries of Interior, Information Technology, and Telecommunication, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).e Committee emphasized the offenses committed on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Director FIA (cybercrime) informed the Committee that these social media companies are based in the United States, and the Government of Pakistan is facing problems in receiving data of the real culprits due to the non-signatory of the MLAT treaty.
The Director of the Federal Investigation Agency (Cybercrime) has issued helpline numbers (1991, 051-9106384, 9106690-2) for the general public to file complaints about all cybercrime-related issues.
While briefing the National Assembly’s standing committee, NACTA officials expressed disappointment that social media platforms have been slow to respond to their calls for action.
During the hearing, PTA officials stated that they had shut down all major obscene websites in the country. “Blasphemy complaints have also decreased as a result of successful measures,” the official added.
He went on to say that TikTok replies to 64% of their inquiries, but Twitter only reacts to 35% of them.
The FIA representative informed the meeting that the officials were undergoing training.
However, because they presently only have the option of online instruction, the process has stalled.
MNAs Tahir Sadiq, Syed Faiz-ul-Hassan, Jamil Ahmed Khan, Kanwal Shauzab, Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Rubina Irfan, Riazul Haq, Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Khursheed Ahmed Junejo, and Aftab Shaban Mirani, as well as senior officers from the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of IT&Telecom,