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ECP bans social media, YouTube use in its offices across Pakistan

ECP bans social media, YouTube use in its offices across Pakistan

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has banned the use of social media websites in its offices across the country

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued a notice for it banning the use of social media and video streaming sites in its offices across the country.

According to the notification letter to provincial election commissioners, all the official are directed that social media websites Facebook, YouTube and Twitter will be blocked in ECP’s national secretariat in Islamabad and also in its all four provincial offices.

The Deputy Director of ECP Syed Rahman Zafar, in the official letter sent to provincial election commissioners of Punjab, Sindh, KPK and Balochistan explained that

“Banning social media and video streaming sites on ECP networks will actually reduce cyber-attacks and also ensure the discipline of using electronic resources up to the optimum level”.

Deputy Director Syed Zafar further informed “The Competent Authority has directed to block social media websites (i.e Youtube, Facebook, Twitter etc) on all networks of ECP secretariat as well as PEC offices.”

The regional offices are also directed to possess immediate coordination with general managers PTCL and National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) for taking necessary help for social media blockage.

A Microsoft report last year said Pakistan is one of the countries that attract the highest rates of attempted malware attacks.

Furthermore, the servers of ECP had been hacked many times in the past. In 2013, Russian and Asian hackers launched strong cyber-attacks on the website but these attacks were foiled. Also, the hackers from India defaced the website a few times.

Election Commission of Pakistan is an independent and autonomous federal body responsible for organizing and conducting of elections by making such arrangements as are necessary to ensure that the election is conducted transparently and in accordance with the law.

A couple of weeks ago, ECP signed an agreement to procure electronic voting machines (EVMs) and biometric verification machines (BVMs) for a trial run in by-elections.

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