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Govt wants Rs. 20 Billion to Regulate Social Media

The federal government of Pakistan plans to allocate Rs. 20 billion in the next fiscal year to enhance cybersecurity and regulate social media. This funding is part of a broader effort to improve digital security and control online content effectively.

Key Objectives

The primary goal of this initiative is to regulate social media platforms, prevent misuse, and combat malicious campaigns. These efforts will be guided by the Pakistan Electronic Crime Act (PECA) 2016, established to address cybercrime and ensure a safer online environment for Pakistani citizens.

Digital Information Infrastructure Initiative (DIII)

The Ministry of IT & Telecom has requested Rs. 20 billion for the Digital Information Infrastructure Initiative (DIII) in the 2024-25 budget. This initiative aims to strengthen the country’s digital framework and improve online information management. Previously, the IT Ministry received Rs. 15 billion for the DIII project during the current fiscal year. The total cost of the DIII project is estimated at $135 million (approximately Rs. 38 billion), highlighting the government’s commitment to developing robust digital infrastructure.

Requirements for Social Media Companies

To ensure proper regulation, only social media companies with offices in Pakistan will be allowed to operate within the country. This requirement aims to improve oversight and accountability of social media platforms, ensuring compliance with Pakistani laws and regulations.

Enhancing Cybersecurity Measures

The new funding will be used to enhance existing cybersecurity measures and develop new strategies to protect against cyber threats. This includes implementing advanced technologies and training personnel to handle cyber incidents more effectively.

Economic Impact

By requiring social media companies to have local offices, the government hopes to increase transparency and create job opportunities within the country. Local offices will necessitate hiring local staff, contributing to the job market and economic growth.

Conclusion

This substantial investment in digital infrastructure underscores the government’s commitment to digital security and effective regulation of online content. The proposed Rs. 20 billion funding aims to bolster Pakistan’s cybersecurity, ensure safe social media use, and foster local employment.

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