For the past few months, digital rights, freedom of the internet, and an open internet have been the main points on the agenda for the freedom of expression activists in Pakistan. Liberals are also disturbed by the possibility of their only outlet for expression being taken away. Much buzz and chatter has come about since the proposal and then the passing of the Cybercrime Bill 2015 by the National Assembly Standing Committee. Personally, I have been viewing this bill from the lens of a digital media marketer. Before we go into this, it would be beneficial to talk about the importance of content. For the digital marketing industry and for the content makers, this bill poses a few challenges that can directly affect the way brands and agencies will take their communications forward.

Overall, there are many clauses that, if implemented, can improve Pakistan’s online society. Threats, bullying, stalking, cyber terrorism, forgery and so on need to be part of the law and with well-defined penalties. This said, it is very important that the Bill is defined in further detail and made free of any ambiguity and vagueness. There should be a certain level of freedom to create content, in good taste, which can increase a brand’s reach, engagement and share ability.


Karachi, November 4.