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Pak court seeks report from authorities on Facebook issue

The legal wrangle in Pakistan over blasphemous content being posted on popular social networking website Facebook is yet to be settled as a superior court has sought a detailed report from authorities.



Lahore: The legal wrangle in Pakistan over
blasphemous content being posted on popular social networking
website Facebook is yet to be settled as a superior court has
sought a detailed report from authorities on steps they have
taken to address this issue.

Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry of the Lahore High Court
has asked the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and the
Director of Telecom Wireless to furnish a report on the steps
they have taken against the posting of blasphemous material on
Facebook and other websites internet and to prevent people
gaining access to such content.

The judge yesterday gave the authorities three weeks
to file a reply and annexed two other identical petitions
against blasphemous contents with the main case.

Earlier, Director of Telecom Wireless Mudassar Hussain
informed the court that the administration of Facebook removed
blasphemous and objectionable material following a complaint
by Pakistani authorities.

Hussain said many other websites, including Youtube
and Wikipedia too had removed such material from their
webpages.

He also pointed out to the judge that many other
websites contained objectionable materials but nobody noticed
them or filed petitions against them in court.

He said that in 2006, an inter-ministerial committee
was formed to control such acts and the petitioners could
approach it for the removal of objectionable materials from
the internet.

The petitioner, Muhammad Azhar Siddique, who is the
chairman of the Judicial Activism Panel, rejected Hussain`s
statement and said objectionable materials were still
accessible in the country.

He said Hussain had earlier told the court that
authorities could block hate material within 24 hours of it
being displayed on a website.

Justice Chaudhry directed Hussain to inform the court
at the next hearing about steps the authorities have taken to
block objectionable materials from the internet.

Siddique, in his petition, has sought a permanent ban
on access to Facebook in Pakistan for repeating its
blasphemous acts and holding a contest on "Everybody Burn
Quran Day."

Earlier this year, authorities had temporarily blocked
access to Facebook and several other websites for hosting
blasphemous material and spreading hate material against
Muslims.

PTI

From Zee News

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