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Facebook agrees to ‘expedite’ information sharing with Pakistan

Facebook agrees to ‘expedite’ information sharing with Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Facebook has agreed to expedite information sharing with Pakistani authorities in connection with investigations in cyber crime cases.

A team from Facebook’s Asia Pacific headquarters headed by Amber Hawkes, Head of Safety Policy and Michael Yoon, Manager Trust and Safety visited the office of Director General Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Wajid Zia to discuss issues of cooperation and data sharing between FIA and Facebook.

The two teams discussed mutual collaboration and cooperation in data sharing as well as cyber crime awareness among social media users in Pakistan.

The Facebook team agreed on expediting sharing of relevant information when required by FIA’s Cyber Crime Wing in connection with their investigations.

The meeting also decided that the FIA would nominate focal persons from the Cyber Crime Wing in each province to liaise with the social media firm to investigate cybercrimes, especially against children and women.

The Facebook team expressed their commitment to working in close liaison with Pakistani authorities in combating cybercrime as per the company’s policy.

Moreover, the Facebook team also offered to conduct training of Cyber Crime Wing officers in order to keep them abreast with the latest social media trends and techniques.

The meeting comes after tech giants Facebook, Twitter and Google threatened to suspend services in Pakistan after the government introduced new rules for foreign tech companies.

In a scathing letter written to Prime Minister Imran Khan last month, the the Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) — which includes Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple, Amazon, Airbnb, Line, LinkedIn, and Yahoo, among others — had said it was difficult for them to operate when such rules were in place.

“The rules as currently written would make it extremely difficult for AIC Members to make their services available to Pakistani users and businesses,” the letter read, referring to the Citizens Protection Rules (Against Online Harm).

The new set of regulations had made it compulsory for social media companies to open offices in Islamabad, build data servers to store information, and take down content upon identification by authorities.

Failure to comply with the authorities in Pakistan will result in heavy fines and possibly the termination of services.