Bytes for All, Pakistan
Bytes for All (B4A), Pakistan is a human rights organization and a network of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) professionals and practitioners. It experiments and organizes debate on the relevance of ICTs for sustainable development and strengthening human rights movements in the country.
At the forefront of Internet Rights movement and struggle for the democracy, B4A focuses on capacity building of human rights defenders on their digital security, online safety & privacy. Working on different important campaigns particularly against Internet censorship and surveillance in Pakistan, B4A continues to work on cyberspace issues, awareness raising and policy advocacy from civil liberties & human rights perspective.
Globally acclaimed Take Back The Tech Campaign is the flagship of Bytes for All, which focuses on strategic use of ICTs by the women and girls to fight violence against women in Pakistan.
Internet censorship and surveillance in Pakistan:
While the “War on Terror” takes its toll on the lives of the Pakistani people, the government’s highly questionable performance on various social and political issues is another dilemma:
- Citizens’ basic human rights have been compromised due to corrupt regimes and in the name of a worsening law and order situation.
- The Internet in Pakistan is vulnerable to heavy censorship, blocking and surveillance. Such practices are common in the name of religion, combating terrorism, safeguarding culture, prohibiting anti-state elements, and preventing discourse on pressing socio-development issues.
- It is clear that people’s freedom and liberties online have been either compromised or denied for political reasons, despite such measures being ostensibly undertaken to counter “blasphemous material.”