New Delhi: An international advocacy and research group has ranked Pakistan among the top 10 nations in the world where Internet freedom is declining and voiced worries about the policies suggested by the government that could further impair cyber liberty, Dawn reported.
"Freedom on the Net 2021: The Global Drive to Control Big Tech" is the newest research from Washington-based Freedom House that details the level of cyber freedom in various nations across the world. It ranks Pakistan seventh among "abusers of Internet freedom."
The advocacy group used a variety of Internet freedom metrics to arrive at its rankings, which is then backed up with facts and arguments. Discussing data sovereignty as an excuse for surveillance, it gave examples from several nations and focused on Pakistan's recent introduction of new regulations for Internet users and service providers, the report said.
Data localization requirements have been implemented in the framework of content regulation, according to the report. "In some cases, such data localisation requirements have been introduced in the context of content regulation," said the report. "Pakistan's proposed Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight and Safeguards) Rules, the latest version of which was published in November 2020, outline requirements for social media companies to establish one or more data servers in the country," it said.
According to Freedom House's primary findings, worldwide Internet freedom decreased for the 11th consecutive year. The greatest deteriorations were documented in Myanmar, Belarus and Uganda, where state forces launched crackdown amid electoral and constitutional crises, it added.