PTA sends notices to Google and Wikipedia for disseminating sacrilegious content

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The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has issued notices to Google Inc and Wikipedia for “disseminating sacrilegious content” through the two platforms, it emerged on Friday.

  • PTA said it was acting against Google and Wikipedia after receiving complaints
  • PTA said it has directed both to immediately remove the content

In a press release, the regulator said that it was acting against Google after receiving “complaints regarding misleading search results associated with ‘Present Khalifa of Islam’ and unauthentic version of Holy Quran uploaded on Google Play Store”.

The PTA said that it has approached Google with the directives “to immediately remove the unlawful content” as it was a matter of a “very serious nature”.

“The platform has been issued with the notice under Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight and Safeguard) Rules 2020 (“Rules”) to remove the sacrilegious content to avoid any legal action by the regulator,” the statement read.

The PTA also said that it had received complaints against Wikipedia for “hosting of caricatures of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and dissemination of misleading, wrong, deceptive and deceitful information through articles portraying Mirza Masroor Ahmad as a Muslim”.

The PTA said that they have served Wikipedia with a notice after “extensive communication” to remove the “sacrilegious content to avoid any legal action”.

“In case the platforms remain non-compliant, PTA shall be constrained to initiate further action under Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 (PECA) and Rules 2020,” said the regulator.