Internet cafes in Sindh cannot operate without surveying on their customers. The provincial government has imposed a ban on internet cafes that are operating without proper video surveillance and recording systems.
Under Section 144 (6) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Sindh government has banned all the internet cafes who don’t record their customers in their establishment. They are required to keep the copies of their recordings for one complete year.
Moreover, they are also required to preserve the copies of all users’ CNIC (Computerised National Identity Cards), along with recording their cabin numbers and usage time.
The SHOs are authorized to register complaints against internet cafes in case there is a violation on cafes’ part. However, a formal complaint will be lodged after the expiry of 15 days of formal notice, issued by the SHO to the café operator to install the surveillance system.
This new move will curb the anonymity that people misuse to create chaos on the cyberspace. Also in the world of digital warfare, this new policy will likely help with the criminal aspects of the cyber world.
Ex COAS Gen Raheel Sharif, while addressing a session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2017 said that digital platform gives terrorists a huge advantage. “I personally feel that these terrorists have the ability to mutate, morph and they can do it very quickly,” He said.
But on the other hand, it takes away the internet freedom of the person, as they are being surveilled. In a country where the concept of privacy is very rare, such move can also have a long-lasting effect on the way the internet is used.