ISLAMABAD - Under the National Action Plan, the governments in the first half of this year made 192 requests to access data on social media website Facebook, almost double to that of the previous year.

During January to June 2015 the Pakistan government made 192 requests of data sharing, along with calling for details of 275 users, said Facebook’s recently launched government requests report.

Last year, during July to December 2014 Pakistan’s requests were 100, whereas user/account requests were 152.

Government sources said that the requests were made to Facebook via Pakistan Telecom Authority, as the authority has no technology to block or access information of users or any particular account.

Different law enforcement agencies through the Ministry of Interior requested PTA to gain access to suspected terrorist or criminal’s accounts along with IP addresses, while some pages spreading hate material or sectarianism were also requested to be blocked, a source said.

He said the pages falling under the category of pornography were also requested to be blocked.

In its report, the Facebook said that it entertained 58 percent of Pakistani government’s requests, around 16 percent more than last quarter. In some cases basic subscriber information was sought, while some requests were information about IP address and logs.

Source said that the government had to follow a long procedure and had to convince Facbook management why they needed the information and how any of the contents is violating law of land.

The requests increased due to the ongoing operation against terrorists, as different agencies became more vigilant and forwarded more requests regarding terror suspects. The official said that porno and sectarian material was forwarded after in-house scrutiny and evaluation of complaints, as directed by the Superior Court.

According to the Facebook’s country request report, the access to content was restricted on reports of National Response Centre for cyber crimes.

National Response Centre for Cyber Crime (NRC) is an affiliated department of the federal Investigation agency FIA, with a mandate of digital forensics, technical investigation, information system security audits, and penetration testing.