Kill Switch in Pakistan

The government of Pakistan has a long history of censoring modes of communication in the name of national security. Initially it was just limited to newspapers, television and radio but now it is curbing access to internet and mobile phones as well.

This new method of censorship and restriction on freedom of speech, expression and access to information i.e., of restricting access to cell phones and shutting down services in the name of national security and fighting terrorism, has been evidenced on different national and religious occasions. Indeed, the kill switch strategy is now regularly used as a counter-terrorism tool.

It is self-evident that the government’s ‘kill switch’ counter terror tactics – a non-strategy – is a complete failure. Blocking communication services citing national security and terrorism as an excuse for its own failed policies and security lapses is ludicrous and adds further misery to peoples’ lives.

The infringement of citizens’ rights is a serious offense and people should condemn such blatant restrictions, lest the government continue its overreach and begin to shut down other modes of communication.

While Bytes for All is fighting these blatant violations of citizen’s rights in the country’s higher courts, it is important that authorities understand sooner than later that censorship is not a solution, it is a problem itself!