The decision was taken during a meeting chaired by Interior Minister Rehman Malik while Federal Secretary Interior, Secretary Information Technology, Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), director FIA and other senior officers of the two ministries attended the meeting.
The meeting was held in the backdrop of the worldwide protests staged by the Muslims against a movie containing blasphemous contents. The member (legal), Ministry of IT would head the team while member (technical) PTA; DG S&D, PTA and director Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) would be its members.
The Committee will meet every week, which will be duly monitored by a team of two Federal Secretaries and Chairman PTA who will keep advising the concerned authorities to enhance the monitoring system for zero tolerance on the issue.
The meeting decided that a control room under the supervision of a director PTA would come into force with immediate effect that would monitor the sites 24 hours a day and would be responsible to block such sites/material instantly.
It has been appealed to the public that any such detrimental material coming to any body’s attention must be reported immediately to the PTA on cell phone number 080055055 or such information could also be emailed on email@example.com.
It was also decided in the meeting to provide cyber security against the anti-Islamic and obscene material.
The meeting observed the government had very firmly decided that Pakistan would take serious cognisance of any such material detrimental to Islam and obscene material being released on the internet and being replicated in Pakistan. All web designers; websites and social media should refrain from planting any such material that may hurt the feelings of Muslims and serious action in terms of legal action against such violators would be taken.
The meeting clarified that neither youtube nor facebook would be blocked and only anti-Islamic and obscene material would be blocked on case-to-case basis.
The participants were informed that PTA and IT Ministry had so far blocked 122 anti-Islamic sites etc in Pakistan. The meeting viewed that the canvas of Internet was too large and needed to be monitored closely to control such blasphemous, anti-Islamic slogans, videos, audios etc.
The meeting also finalized the proposals in connection with pre-paid SIMs to be placed in the larger meeting that would held next week for final approval in consultation with all the stakeholders.
A task force headed by Chairman PTA was constituted with additional director general FIA, director (technical) IT Ministry and deputy chairman NADRA as its members. This team will meet on regular basis and advise the government on how to enhance stopping of misuse of SIMs obtained fraudulently.
It was noted that there were total 24 million mobile SIMs, which were blocked on the recommendations of the Ministry of Interior during a high-powered meeting, and in this process nobody claimed 7 million mobile SIMs as they were either stolen or issued on fake IDs.
Now there are 17 million pre-paid SIMs and it has been noticed that operation of these connections had been reported to be still either fake or stolen IDs or because of inadequate information.
It was decided that these SIMs should be got verified through a well-planned data collecting exercise without causing inconvenience to the general public. Accordingly, it was proposed that mobile service providers should be made responsible to get their respective subscribers verified through a mechanism.
There will be a close coordination between the IT Ministry, PTA and NADRA for creating affective and efficient mechanical system to avoid complication or delays or any other inconvenience pre-empted to be faced subsequently by the people.
Increase in mobile phone sets with replicated IMEI numbers has been noticed and in this connection FBR was directed to block the import of any such mobile phones with replicated IMEI numbers and FIA was directed to cease all such mobile phones with replicated IMEI numbers.
It was proposed in the meeting that use of stolen mobile phones would be made non-bailable offence with seven years of imprisonment.
It will be mandatory for the telephone owners to report to the police and furnish police report to the service providers and PTA enabling the authorities to block that mobile phone connection immediately and use of such stolen mobiles shall be controlled by PTA through a mechanism set up by the Authority itself.
The participants stressed that already expired cyber crime ordinance shall be resubmitted in the Parliament with enhanced scope.