Senate sub-panel calls for action against fake news

Published: August 29, 2019
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PHOTO: FILE

PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The sub-committee of Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication Wednesday called for strict action against spreading of fake news on social media and perpetrators of cybercrime.

Taking up a complaint lodged by the committee chairperson, Senator Rubina Khalid, regarding fake news on social media about the recovery of huge quantity of gold from her house, the committee’s convener Senator Kulsoom Parveen called for taking the elements involved in maligning Senator Khalid to the task.

Giving public punishment to such offenders was mandatory as otherwise, no one would be safe from cyberbullying and negative propaganda, she added.

“Whoever runs fake news should be asked to bring proofs with themselves,” said Kulsoom.

Senator Mir Kabeer Ahmed Muhammad Shahi said: “If Senator Rubina was having such amount of gold then she had been sitting at home and returning loans to World Bank and International Monetary Fund.”

Representatives of the National Response Centre for Cyber Crime (NR3C) informed the committee that the social media accounts of persons involved in the campaign against Senator Khalid had been verified and all necessary measures were being taken to punish them.

They said the Twitter and the Facebook administrations had been approached with the details of accounts involved in cyber bullying and fake propaganda, and their replies were awaited.

The committee also took strict notice of the discrepancies observed in the allocation of provincial jobs quota by the Ministry of Information Technology and the real position of appointments from respective provinces.

Senator Shahi said that he was not able to verify his Facebook and Twitter accounts. Both social media networking sites were not verifying Pakistan.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials said Pakistan has not signed Mutual Assistance Legal Treaty.

The committee called for the signing of the treaty for solving issues related to social media in the country.

Additional IT Secretary told that as many as 5,319 employees are working in the information ministry and its related institutions. Around 200 seats are allocated for Balochistan.

To this, committee members said as per allocation Balochistan seats standard 300. They maintained that false statements should not be made. Similarly, there were only 166 officials who belonged to Sindh against total allocation of 904 posts.

Senator Shahi called for an “end to class system education” and latest education for the provincial students. He said: “Today, Balochistan students’ study under the shade of a tree. There, doors and windows of schools and universities are broken. It’s maybe not possible that the provincial student is getting jobs just like Punjab’s”.

The establishment division representatives were summoned in the next meeting with details of officers of grade 17-22 and their assignments.

Senator Mir Kabeer stressed the need for reviewing the services of telecommunication provider in Kech district, Balochistan for which the committee recommended to summon USF in its next meeting.

The meeting was chaired by Kalsoom Parveen and attended by senators Mir Kabeer and Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, and senior officers from the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication and, FIA Cybercrime Centre.

 

(WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM APP)

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