Govt needs to nip fake news in the bud: senators


ISLAMABAD: The Senate’s Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication on Wednesday called for strict action against spreading of fake news on social media and people accused of involvement in cybercrimes.

The body was discussing a complaint lodged by its chairperson Senator Rubina Khalid regarding fake news on social media about the recovery of huge quantity of gold from her house.

Committee’s convener Senator Kulsoom Parveen called for taking the elements involved in maligning Senator Rubina Khalid to the task. She demanded public punishment for such offenders to discourage the growing menace.

The National Response Centre for Cyber Crime representatives apprised the committee that the social media accounts of people involved in the campaign against Senator Khalid had been verified and all necessary measures were being taken to punish them.

They said the Twitter and Facebook administrations had been approached with the details of accounts. The social media sites have yet to respond, they added.

The committee also took strict notice of the discrepancies observed in the allocation of provincial jobs quota by the Ministry of Information Technology.

Senator Mir Kabeer Ahmed Muhammad Shahi observed that Balochistan had been allocated some 319 posts while the data provided by the ministry showed only 200 appointees from the province.

Similarly, there were only 66 officials from Sindh against the total allocation of 904 posts, he added.

The Establishment Division representatives were summoned in the next meeting with details of officers of grade 17-22 and their assignments.

Senator Mir Kabeer stressed the need to review the services of telecommunication provider in Kech, Balochistan, for which the committee recommended to summon the Universal Service Fund (USF) officials in the next meeting.

The meeting was chaired by Kalsoom Parveen and attended by senators Mir Kabeer Ahmed Muhammad Shahi and Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, and senior officers from the Ministry of Information Technology and relevant officials.