Diversity Impact on Vaccine Equity (DIVE) in Pakistan

Posted on Apr 12, 2022

This is the second bulletin of the research, conducted by Bytes for All (B4A) and Minority Rights Group (MRG), with the aim of tracking and understanding online sharing across diverse ethnic, religious and linguistic communities about Covid-19 vaccine confidence, uptake and access in Pakistan. For this purpose, social media monitoring software packages: Brandwatch and CrowdTangle were used to capture and analyse content shared online about Covid-19 vaccines.

Due to partial penetration of social media use among some poor/remote communities, the social media data is triangulated. For data triangulation, B4A has collected on-the-ground data from different areas of Pakistan, about vaccine access uptake, fears and confidence among religious minority groups, through a network of citizen journalists. Interviews were conducted in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, Lahore, Sargodha,...

The International Community Must Support and Protect Palestinian Civil Society

Posted on Nov 1, 2021

Islamabad, (October 29, 2021): As a group of regional and international organizations, we express our full solidarity with Palestinian civil society and human rights defenders as Israel continues to escalate its attacks to shut down critical human rights work and silence opposition to its occupation of Palestinian territory and apartheid over the Palestinian people as a whole. We urge the international community to take all necessary action to support and protect Palestinian civil society and human rights defenders and ensure the continuation of their invaluable work.

On 19 October 2021, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz designated six leading Palestinian civil society organizations as terrorist organizations, including Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association , Al-Haq Law in the Service of Man (Al-Haq) , Bisan Center for Research and Development , Defense...

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...