Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is keeping a close eye on social media and other digital platforms to curb hate speech, extremism and anti-national activism on these platforms. FIA has recently mobilized its monitoring system to track down individuals involved in anti-national activities, a senior FIA official told Dawn News.
Last week, Federal Minister for Information, Mr. Fawad Chaudry stated that government is going to start a crackdown against extremism on social media and some of the rights activists in Karachi, Multan, Peshawar and other cities of the country have already been arrested. It must also be noted that FIA and ministry of information have come into action after observing an organized social media campaign that took place during the recent visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
Director FIA, Younus Chandio, while elaborating the ongoing monitoring setup told the local media outlet that FIA Sindh wing has three cyber-crime centers located in Karachi, Hyderabad, and Sukkur. He said;
“Heads of all these centers and their chain of command have formally been informed about the task and objective. We monitor social and digital media platforms regularly. After the government decision, more efforts are being made and we are more vigilant this time.”
It is worth mentioning here that FIA’s officials have stated quite clearly that they will not wait for any formal complaint to take action against any individual or group involved in cyber-crime as the agency has the legal authority to take necessary action against anyone committing such an offense under cyber-crime law.
FIA’s primary targets would be the individuals which are found involved in hate speech, which in return will simultaneously restrict religious extremism and anti-national interest. The officials also discussed the various aspects of the implementation of The PECA 2016 [Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act] which covers all such offenses including false news, rumors and propaganda over social and digital media platforms.
During his previous statement, Fawad Chaudhry had warned that FIA has completed its homework and the operation is expected to launch in coming weeks.