ICTR&D under immense criticism. MOIT Ministry to devise new strategy for internet censorship

ISLAMABAD (SPECIAL REPORT)

Ministry of Information & Technology has derived a comprehensive plan for internet censorship to meet the reservations of some of the local and foreign companies emerged after the advertisement released by ICTR&D the other day.

Earlier ICTR&D through its advertisement asked the interested companies to send proposals regarding preparation and installation of an internet censorship software. Some of the local and foreign companies, soon after the release of the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the said advertisement, expressed massive reservations in this regard. These companies said that ICTR&D don’t have the mandate to install such internet censorship software. Rather Ministry of IT can’t even install it. Experts says that appropriate legislation is required in Pakistan after the consultation from the foreign experts. Preparation and installation of the software by ICTR&D will not only cause problem in terms of Pakistan’s disconnection of internet from the rest of the world, but will also cause huge loss in financial terms as well.

This was also revealed to this correspondent that some of the local internet service providers, behind the scene, are exploiting the situation and trying that the expense on the preparation and installation of the censorship software should be incurred from the research fund, thus to avoid the expenses incurred on the installation within their system which is a sheer violation of the rules of this Fund.

Ministry of Information Technology has called a meeting of inter-ministerial committee which will be attended by the representatives of Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior and Finance. The committee in its meeting will compile recommendations which will be sent to cabinet for approval.

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