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Pakistan approves controversial cybercrime law

Activists say new cybercrime laws in Pakistan will allow the government to conduct mass surveillance and criminalise satirePakistan on Thursday approved a controversial cybercrime bill the government says will safeguard citizens against harassment and criminalise online child pornography, but which activists say curbs free speech. The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2016 has been the focus of heated debate over provisions that critics say give the government the power to conduct mass surveillance and criminalise satire. Farieha Aziz, director of the Bolo Bhi digital rights group, said a section intended to tackle cyber-stalking was drafted in sweeping language that would allow public officials criticised on social media to claim they were being harassed.

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