PM Shehbaz approves Peca law amendments to regulate social media

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has given approval for a draft to amend the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016 as part of the federal government’s decision to regulate social media through legislation, as per sources.

According to the proposed PECA Amendment Bill 2024, the establishment of a Digital Rights Protection Authority has been suggested, while the bill will be presented in the Parliament once its approved by the cabinet, the sources said.

The proposed amendment bill was recommended by the cabinet’s Legal Reforms Committee, which suggested the establishment of the Digital Rights Protection Authority, which will fall under the Ministry of Information Technology’s jurisdiction, they added.

The sources further revealed that the authority will, therefore, advise the government on matters related to digital rights, ensure responsible use of the internet and enforce regulations.

It will collaborate with social media platforms to facilitate the promotion of a positive digital ecosystem. It will also regulate online content, investigate violations of the new PECA law on social media and take action against violators.

The proposed authority will be able to demand information from involved individuals and witnesses. It may also establish rules to enforce laws related to digital rights and will create a secure and trustworthy digital environment while promoting user protection online and safeguarding fundamental rights.

As per the officials, this bill has been formulated to protect the privacy of citizens from the dangers associated with social media and has no connection with institutions.

Earlier, the Ministry of IT had issued an SRO to establish the National Cyber Crime Investigation Authority.

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