The Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication has taken stern notice of the fake accounts on social networking sites in the names of political and social personalities and emphasized measures, including legislation to control it.
The Committee met with Senator Rubina Khalid in the chair. Senator Rehman Malik, while expressing concerns over the misuse of social media in the country, said that thousands of fake social media accounts are running for different malicious purposes and spreading blasphemous and highly objectionable materials to create uncertainty and chaos among the public.
Senate Committee Recommends Plan of Action to Tackle Unemployment
He said that many are operating social media accounts with different names, including the names of politicians. He said that hardware for Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) was arranged to remove such objectionable and hatemongering materials, and the accounts could be blocked immediately. However, about the fate of hardware PTA can tell either it is operating or still under process.
He said that a fake Twitter account is being run in the name of Aitzaz Ahsan on Twitter about which, he has lodged a complaint with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and PTA several times, but several months passed, and the said fake account is still active and spreading materials with his name.
He said that he, as the Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior, has also taken the notice of the said fake account and has sought a report from FIA for discussion in the upcoming meeting.
Malik urged that now is the need of time for legislation on social media to control such things, adding that strict legal action should be taken against those violating cyber laws of the country.
He said that Chairman PTA has said that social media regulation has become a global issue. “It is the job of Parliament to make laws, and it is our job to implement them. Now the rules have been made.”
Senate Committee Proposes Shifting NTDC Headquarters to Islamabad
He said that the FIA has a problem of capacity and social media companies have the problem of cooperation. They do not give complete information to the FIA and needs to be bound. The Committee was told that the rules have been made and situations would become better.
Senator Muhammad Ali Saif said that many things are going on the internet unregulated. The trend of spreading fake and false things about people has also increased, but there is no way to stop it. People’s lives and reputations are being destroyed. He said that things were being run against the country by making fake IDs in Balochistan.
PTA should formulate a comprehensive policy in consultation with the concerned agencies. IT Ministry cannot be isolated from national and individual losses on account of social media.
The Committee expressed concerns and annoyance over the Ministry of Information Technology and telecommunication (MOIT&T) and the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) for not paying the due amount to its pensioners despite the Committee’s clear directions and Senate decision.
Senator Rubina Khalid, the chairperson of the Committee, said that the issue of pension of PTCL employees was still pending, and that did not work out. The Committee took notice of the absence of MD PTET. The Committee said that if the MD’s engagements were very important, they would have been informed in advance.
Senator Rehman Malik suggested issuing a warrant. Officials said they had informed the concerned board about the issue of pensions. Malik said that there should be proper legislation and institutions need to be empowered. He said that a lot of time has been spent on this issue.
Federal Minister for IT, Syed Aminul Haq, assured the Committee that the problems of pensioners would be resolved at the earliest.
The Committee meeting was attended by Senators Taj Muhammad Afridi, Fida Muhammad, Barrister Muhammad Ali Khan Saif, Rukhsana Zubair, Rehman Malik, and Faisal Javed, besides the Federal Minister for IT, Secretary, Ministry of IT, Chairman PTA, and senior officials of relevant agencies.
GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings