Calls for ban on all social media in Pakistan in the midst of X outage.

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The social media platform X (formerly Twitter) has been experiencing disruptions for over two weeks, causing concern among users. A member of the upper house of parliament has called for a permanent ban on all social media platforms, while reports suggest that authorities are considering banning all Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), leading to concerns from the IT and services sector about the potential impact on the country’s economy.

Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi, who has previously been expelled from the PPP, has submitted a resolution calling for a complete ban on social media platforms, citing their negative effects on the younger generation. The resolution is set to be discussed in the upcoming Senate session on Monday, and highlights concerns about the promotion of norms against religion and culture, as well as creating hatred among people based on language and religion.

The continued disruption of X has led to speculation about a blanket ban on VPNs, with activists warning of threats to fundamental rights, economic growth, and the country’s reputation. The ban on VPNs would have significant consequences for Pakistan’s economy and its reputation as a tech and innovation hub, according to the Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA). They have called for a joint working group with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to address regulatory concerns and ensure the uninterrupted operation of internet services.

Currently, commercial users are required to register their VPNs with the PTA, while there is no restriction on individuals using VPNs for non-commercial purposes. Reports of potential bans on social media platforms and VPNs have raised concerns about the impact on the country’s economy and reputation, as well as potential violations of fundamental rights.

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