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July 20, 2018 - Comments Off on Freedom on the Net 2017 (URDU)

Freedom on the Net 2017 (URDU)

Digital Rights Foundation translated the Freedom on the Net 2017 (FOTN 2017) report in Urdu for wider readership. The translated report can be found here [PDF]

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Freedom House released the Freedom on the Net (FoTN) report for the year 2017 which assesses internet freedom in 65 countries, accounting for 87 percent of internet users worldwide. The report primarily focuses on developments that occurred between June 2016 and May 2017.

Meticulously researched by Digital Rights Foundation and research analysts at Freedom House, the FoTN 2017 report for Pakistan is an attempt to collate and evaluate the state-level violations of user rights, internet freedom, and implementation of censorship in Pakistan. The report ranks Pakistan “Not Free” for the sixth consecutive year. Here are some of the key findings from the Freedom on the Net Report 2017 with regards to Pakistan:

- Mobile internet service was shut down for more than a year in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, starting in June 2016

- The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act enacted in August 2016 introduced stronger censorship and surveillance powers with inadequate oversight

- A teenager was arrested for allegedly “liking” a blasphemous post on Facebook in September 2016; a court awarded the death penalty in a separate Facebook blasphemy case in June 2017

- Five bloggers known for criticizing authorities and religious militancy were abducted in January 2017; one later said a government institution had detained and tortured him. The fifth was still missing in late 2017

- Social media personality Qandeel Baloch was murdered by her brother in July 2016 for videos she shared on Facebook; separately in April 2017, journalism student Mashal Khan was killed by a mob who accused him of online blasphemy

- Hackers stepped up attempts to target government critics, attacking a major media website

The report further notes that the Internet Freedom Status for the year 2017 has in fact worsened for Pakistan from that in 2016. With the ranking of 18 out of 25 for Obstacles to Access for 2016, the bar sits at 19 for the year 2017; and Violations of User Rights which sat at 31 out of 40 for the year 2016, it’s now at 32. The overall ranking for Pakistan closes at 71 out of 100 (100 being the worst) for this year, two points down from last year’s ranking - declaring Pakistan “Not Free” for yet another year.

Published by: Digital Rights Foundation in Blog

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