Bytes for All launches annual ‘Pakistan’s Internet Landscape 2020’

Posted on Aug 20, 2021

Islamabad, (August 13, 2021): Bytes for All, Pakistan (B4A) has released its regular annual report on “Internet Landscape of Pakistan 2020”, that meticulously maps Pakistan’s internet landscape alongside covering digital trends and their impact on socio-economic developments as well as challenges and threats in the digital age during 2020. The report also looks at the impact of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on people’s digital lives in Pakistan.

This year’s report presents an in-depth analysis of internet access, internet governance, online blasphemy, child pornography, cyber-crime, data protection and privacy, censorship and media, disinformation, fintech and online banking, and e-commerce in Pakistan.

According to the report, in terms of access, the country saw accelerated growth vis-à-vis adoption and its usage, but this was less a result of successful policies, better...

Advolocate Launch

Posted on Jul 19, 2021

Islamabad, July19th, 2021: Bytes For All (B4A), has launched the application ‘Advolocate’ on 19th July, 2021, in an event held in Islamabad. The Chief Guest for the launch event was Honorable Justice Retired Ali Nawaz Chowhan. The event was attended by law experts, from different cities, including Advocate Farid Hussain Kaif, Advocate Shafqat Munir Malik, Advocate Hifza Bukhari, Advocate Junaid Akhtar Chohan and Advocate Raja Shahid Zafar. The application is potentially­­ a breakthrough innovation for marginalized groups like citizen journalists, activists, human rights defenders and women as it will bridge gaps between the civil society and lawyers all across South Asia and enable CSOs and individual citizen activists to receive pro-bono, paid and on-demand legal aid/services to ensure speedy justice in human rights cases/violations.

Justice Retired Ali Nawaz Chowhan...

Press Freedom: A Vehicle for Information as Public Good

Posted on May 3, 2021

On Press Freedom Day 2021, it is unfortunate to note that the media landscape in Pakistan is under siege, with journalists and new media practitioners living in a constant state of fear, self censorship and facing hostile laws compromising the freedom of press in the country.

The world is living through a raging pandemic, causing havoc in people's social, economic and professional lives. Pakistan is equally affected as many other countries, however, disinformation and fake news is rife around the pandemic further undermining socio-economic well-being of the citizens.

Bytes for All believes that a lot more is desired from the state authorities, internet corporations and media houses to curtail disinformation and bring to the people ‘’information as public good’’, which is also the theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day.

In Pakistan, while mainstream media...

Inclusive Internet Index 2021 shows downward trends for Pakistan

Posted on May 1, 2021

Islamabad, April 30, 2021: Pakistan ranks in the bottom quartile of the Inclusive Internet Index 2021 , i.e. second lowest in Asia and lowest in South Asia regions. The index provides a rigorous benchmark of national-level internet inclusion in 120 countries, that cover almost 96 percent of the world’s population, across four categories i.e. Availability, Affordability, Relevance and Readiness. Unfortunately, Pakistan stands at 90th position in the ranking among the listed 120 countries from all over the world.

Bytes for All welcomes the overall work carried out by Inclusive Internet Index , however, expresses its deep concern over the deteriorating ranking of Pakistan in providing affordable, quality and real access of Internet to its citizens.

Current difficult times, when countries are battling with a horrific pandemic, Internet and...

Bytes For All condemns Social media suspension across Pakistan

Posted on Apr 16, 2021

Islamabad, April 16, 2021: Bytes For All strongly condemns the arbitrary suspension of various social media platforms in Pakistan on Friday. As per a notification by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), on the directions of the Ministry of Interior, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp and Telegram are being blocked during 11am to 3pm to counter the protests from the members and allies of religious group.

Bytes For All believes that blocking and filtering the internet is not a real solution ‘to maintain public order and safety’. Pakistan is a democracy and it is only the rule of law that enables safe and secure environment for public life. We are also concerned that media censorship and internet blocking of the protests is setting dangerous trend for flourishing democratic principles in the country.

Internet...

Online hatred pushing minorities to the periphery: B4A report ‘online hate speech’

Posted on Mar 29, 2021

Islamabad, (29 Mar 2021): Online hatred aiming the minority faiths in Pakistan has been pushing them to the periphery of the society; and creating impediments to contribute fearlessly and productively in the socio-economic development of a pluralistic society.

Bytes for All (B4A), Pakistan’s annual hate speech report 2020 has been launched today in a webinar titled “Online and Offline Hate Speech”. The event was simultaneously webcast on Facebook Page “I Don’t Forward hate”. The report presents the detailed analyses of Twitter and Facebook conversations spreading dangerous messages against faith-based minorities in the country.

The report specifically presents the status of the implementation of points No. 5 and 14 of the National Action Plan (NAP) and reflects upon the areas needing immediate attention of the relevant stakeholder in order to avoid any unrest in the...

I Don’t Forward Hate: An online campaign to promote diversity and pluralism in Pakistan

Posted on Jan 27, 2021

Islamabad, (January 27, 2021): Bytes for All (B4A) in association with like-minded civil society organizations has launched an online campaign to push back the menace of hate and incitement to violence, in an effort to support the government of Pakistan’s cause of discouraging hate speech both online and offline and bridge the divisiveness in society.

Hate speech and incitement to violence in Pakistan has been disrupting the peace of our society since decades, initially was limited to offline spaces; however, has polluted the online spaces in current times. In fact, the impacts of hate speech in online spaces are far pervasive than offline with severe real-life consequences, such as violence and terrorism.

The government of Pakistan in its National Action Plan in 2014 expressed its firm resolve to fight the issue of hate speech and abusive behaviors on social...