The e-Safety Bill 2023 introduces new social media rules empowering the regulator to swiftly block and seize platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime, following directives from area magistrates.
According to the reports, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has drafted new social media rules under the e-Safety Bill 2023, allowing the regulator to immediately block, raid and seize premises of any social media platform, website, channel, and streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. on the direction of an area magistrate.
Under the new legislation, social media individuals, channels, and companies may face closure or imprisonment for a period of 3 to 5 years for breaching the conditions outlined in the online protection bill. An intriguing aspect of the bill is that if any person or entity is found guilty of an offense under the e-Safety Act, all directors, partners, and employees associated with that person or company will also be considered guilty unless proven innocent.
The bill imposes strict penalties on registered social media platforms, such as YouTube channels, vlogs, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, for disseminating false, distorted, or misleading information. Violations will be punishable by fines as prescribed by the rules. Repeated violations or abetments can lead to imprisonment for up to three years or fines, or both.
Furthermore, individuals operating Social Network Platforms will be required to obtain a registration certificate to operate legally in Pakistan. Unregistered platforms found to be owned, controlled, or operated, or having their equipment kept or concealed, may face search and seizure actions based on information provided by the e-Safety Authority and authorized by the area magistrate.
The bill also sets guidelines for channels regarding the coverage of accidents, violence, and crimes, ensuring that such reporting does not incite or glamorize violence or anti-social behavior and does not impede ongoing security operations. It also prohibits the streaming of speculative or biased reporting that could compromise security operations. Political or analytical programs, including talk shows, should be conducted objectively, ensuring representation of all concerned parties, with due respect given to guests.
Moreover, any program found to contain aspersions against the judiciary or armed forces of Pakistan will face legal action.
Taking lead to ProPakistani