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Government and ISPs to Share Costs for Social Media Blockers Installation

The federal government has decided to install advanced firewalls sourced from China to regulate social media content and block undesirable content from reaching a wider audience.

Both the federal government and local ISPs will share the cost of these firewalls. The government will cover part of the expenses, while ISPs will pay the remaining fees. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has mandated ISPs to block illegal content as per the terms of their operating licenses.

The firewalls, equipped with deep packet inspection (DPI) technology, will be installed by local internet service providers (ISPs). This decision was made after extensive discussions between the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), IT Ministry officials, and local ISPs. Despite some resistance from the ISPs, the PTA stood firm on this requirement.

The new system will be capable of blocking online content at the IP level, bypassing the need to filter through mobile apps.

The PTA will oversee the installation and operation of these firewalls, ensuring they are effectively used to prevent the spread of illegal content and maintain national security.

Sources said these firewalls will critically analyze data application layers up to the 7-Layer OSI model. This level of control will allow the government to identify and block specific propaganda points and IDs on social media platforms.


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