IT Ministry Withdraws Controversial e-Safety Bill

Islamabad: According to the sources, the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication has stopped working on the controversial e-Safety Bill. The e-Safety Bill has reportedly been placed on hold, and the proposed bill has also been removed from the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication’s website.

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During the last week of July, both the Personal Data Protection Bill and the e-Safety Bill received preliminary approval from the previous Cabinet. The Ministry of IT and Telecom then published the proposed e-Safety Bill on the Ministry’s website and invited suggestions from the general public and other pertinent parties. However, a few days after the bill was uploaded, it was mysteriously removed from the website.

 

According to the authentic sources, the Cabinet approved the E-Safety Bill’s development rather than temporarily approving it. Afterward, the bill was hastily drafted as an urgent measure and thus had major issues. According to representatives from the Ministry of IT and Telecom, the Data Protection Bill and the e-Safety Bill both have become ineffective after the end of the National Assembly.

The officials also stated that the e-Safety Bill was prepared without consulting stakeholders, which raised doubts and concerns. The proposed bill is about a new authority, so if the new administration wants it, it could be completely redrafted after extensive consultation with the agreement of all concerned parties.

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In the first week of August, an international coalition of global internet companies wrote a letter to the Prime Minister. The letter outlined their concerns with the proposed E-safety and Data Protection Bills. The Asia Internet Coalition had recommended extensive consultations on both bills and the amendments to the PECA Act.

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