Security breach: Drone-cameras are illegal, NA panel told

Published: October 17, 2014
PEMRA says it warned channels repeatedly, but to no avail. PHOTO: ONLINE

PEMRA says it warned channels repeatedly, but to no avail. PHOTO: ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: Terming the use of drone-cameras illegal, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) informed National Assembly Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting that these drone-cameras — being used extensively by TV channels in recent days — breach both security as well as privacy of citizens.

The Pemra officials said that the authority has time and again asked the management of TV channels to abide by the rules and regulations but they don’t follow it — show-cause notices have also been served upon the management of these channels in this regard.

“The drone-cameras used by TV channels are illegal and against the rules set by Pemra. Channel owners have to get advance permission from the interior and defence ministries for using such technology,” said a senior Pemra official while briefing the committee.

However, the Pemra officials didn’t have any answer when the committee members asked, “why these cameras are regularly used by TV channels in various events including the sit-ins in the federal capital?”

The Pemra officials said, “We have asked the TV channels and their managements to avoid using this technology and also asked police for taking action against this illegal act.” Red Zone is a sensitive place and using drone-cameras there is a matter of concern in terms of security, but the channels don’t follow the regulations, they added.

Under the law, Pemra can restrict any one from using such technologies as per the rules if it deems necessary.

Besides, the standing committee chairperson Marvi Memon and other members criticised Pemra for not taking any action against the TV channels which are telecasting provocative speeches of Tahirul Qadri and Imran Khan during their sit-ins.

“Are you not the independent regulatory authority? Why haven’t you taken action against the broadcast of hate speeches of Dr Qadri and Imran,” asked committee member and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz lawmaker Talal Chaudhry.

“The drone cameras not only breach the security protocols, but even violate the privacy of those people who live in the surrounding areas,” he noted.

The committee also condemned violence against media-persons by police during the sit-ins. Inspector General Police Islamabad Tahir Alam Khan publicly apologised for the act and said that cases have been registered against the Punjab Police and for the identification of the personnel we have sought help from NADRA.

Committee chairperson, on the suggestion of the MD PTV Mohammad Malik, decided  to invite  media owners and their management to the committee meeting next time for developing a security strategy for the working journalists, who often become victim of  violence perpetrated by both parties — protesters as well as security agencies.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • banned
    Oct 17, 2014 - 9:28AM

    Every new technology is banned in Pakistan by default.Recommend

  • faraz
    Oct 17, 2014 - 11:54AM

    @banned: Pakistanis have got accustomed to lawlessness in the name of freedom. Leave Pemra aside, aerial drones require CAA permission.


  • pakpatriot
    Oct 17, 2014 - 12:37PM

    Right, As Pakistanis use every technology more for negative purpose rather positive, it should be banned to keep privacy N to avoid intruder from peeping in others home.


  • Sami
    Oct 17, 2014 - 3:00PM

    There must be laws that govern use of drones and ensure privacy and security of public.


  • Going Backward
    Oct 17, 2014 - 3:11PM

    PEMRA is a totally backward organization. Whereas Helicopter cameras were introduced in USA in the 1980s, these dimwits at PEMRA are banning a technology that is finally affordable and safe to be used in Pakistan.

    Please ship the entire PEMRA team to Sub Saharan Africa where they should feel free to promulgate such ridiculous policies to the Bedouins and their camels.


  • Nadeem
    Oct 17, 2014 - 5:09PM

    Dear what if your own privacy is put on stake? We are not that peaceful country as US. What if some one fixes time device in such drone; whom to blame then. Technology is not that important attitude, impartiality, objectiveness of media men is important. Didn’t u notice partisan/ condemnable role of media. So we need to be responsible as human being 1st. @Going Backward:


  • farrukh
    Oct 18, 2014 - 1:29AM

    Drones with cams are banned in many states of US also , coz of security and privacy breach


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