Appalled by new rules, Google, Twitter, Facebook threaten to quit Pakistan
Islamabad, Nov 21: Internet and technology companies have threatened to leave Pakistan after the government granted blanket powers to the authorities.
The powers were granted to authorities to censor digital content, a move that is aimed at curtailing freedom of expression.
Asia Internet Coalition, which represents global technology giants including Google, Facebook and Twitter said it was alarmed by the scope of Pakistan's new law targeting internet companies as well as the government's opaque process by which these rules were developed.
Under the new regulations, social media companies or internet service providers face fine of up to USD 3.14 million for failure to curb the sharing of content deemed to be defamatory of Islam, promoting terrorism, hate speech, pornography or any other content that is viewed as endangering national security.
The coalition said draconian data localisation requirements will damage the ability of people to access a free and open internet and shut Pakistan's digital economy off from the rest of the world. The new rules will make it difficult for its members to make their services available to Pakistani users and businesses, the coalition also said.