THE campaign launched by Interior Minister Rehman Malik against the emails and SMSs considered anti-government is in violation of the freedom of expression. It runs counter to the spirit of the Constitution, which entitles the people to express their opinions in a peaceful way. The FIA, which has been instructed to monitor such text messages, will register cases under the Cybercrimes Act, and punishment could be as long as 14 years in prison. According to Mr Malik, a similar offensive has also been launched against the banned organizations, involved in distributing militant literature and propaganda through the Internet against the government and security forces. But the action against what the government believes is dissemination of offensive SMSs is totally a different phenomenon and cannot be condoned under any circumstances. This amounts to invading people's privacy. It would provoke popular resentment against the PPP-led set-up. Besides, the question is: does the government have that kind of technology and workforce to be able to do the job? This also means that the FIA's staff would be assigned to what appears to be a totally futile exercise rather than doing their mandated job. The whole idea reflects poorly on the government's democratic credentials.