Bytes for All, Pakistan (B4A) launches the Network Shutdown Report 2022

Posted on Jul 7, 2023

(Islamabad, July 7, 2023): Pakistani citizens have endured 24 network shutdowns in 2022 alone, marking a 58% increase compared to the previous year. Bytes for All, Pakistan (B4A) raises concerns over the alarming trend of network shutdown infringing upon civil, political and socio-economic rights of Pakistani citizens. Political turmoil, religious observances, security threats, and natural disasters like floods were among other instances of network closures in 2022. B4A has been maintaining a timeline of network shutdowns since the year 2012 at www.killswitch.pk . It is also important to note that Pakistan’s Islamabad High Court had also declared Network Shutdowns to be illegal in a judgement on Feb 26, 2018.

B4A launches the report titled "Pakistan's Network Shutdown Report– An analysis of network shutdowns in Pakistan during 2022". This in-depth report examines the...

Bytes for All, Pakistan (B4A) releases annual Internet Landscape Report 2022

Posted on May 8, 2023

Bytes for All, Pakistan (B4A) releases annual Internet Landscape Report 2022; sheds light on evolving digital environment and human rights issues in Pakistan.

[Islamabad, 8 May 2023] - Bytes for All, Pakistan (B4A), a prominent digital rights organization, is pleased to announce the launch of its flagship annual report, "Pakistan's Internet Landscape report 2022." The comprehensive report delves into the complex relationship between human rights and information and communication technologies (ICTs) in Pakistan.

The Internet Landscape report serves as a valuable reference document that captures and examines the dynamic digital environment and its impact on various aspects of Pakistani society, including human rights, democracy, the economy, and national security. It aims to offer critical information for all segments of society, and foster meaningful discussions on the...

Digital Superhighways inSouth Asia

Posted on Feb 20, 2023

Executive Summary

China, under 14th Five-Year Plan (2021–2025), seeks to enhance its technological independence from leading democratic countries, specifically in Information Communication Technology (ICT). Through the Digital Silk Road (DSR), a part of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Chinese companies are increasingly providing the digital infrastructure that is essential to any regime of data governance. While analyzing Chinese investment in the digital transformation of South Asian countries mainly Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the study revealed that the investment has not helped build or support egalitarian internet access, instead helped increase the military and security control over the data and circumscribe the freedom of expression and of information through the narrative.

The increased China-Pak cooperation under DSR indicates increased Chinese...

EXPRESSION VS HATE SPEECH: A CASE STUDY OF PAKISTANI DIGITAL MEDIA

Posted on Aug 12, 2022

Islamabad, (16 August 2022): Bytes for All (B4A) in collaboration with the International Minority Rights Group (MRG) has launched a report “Expression vs Hate Speech: A case study of Pakistani digital media” that focuses on the prevailing practices of Pakistani digital media vis-à-vis online hate speech against religious minorities. The study concludes that Pakistani digital media lacks in regulating users’ hateful commentary on their platforms, which often results in incitement to violence targeting vulnerable faith-based groups.

The core objective of this report is to stir a debate among digital media practitioners both the digital media and the legacy media on this important issue and to generate increased attention to and steps taken to counter this. Journalism is a profession bound to its ethical code of conduct and global good practices. The ethics also call upon the...

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...