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Title: From Mediation to Neo-Censorship: Comparative Analysis of Cyber Laws of Pakistan and United States
Authors: Abbas, Zafar
Keywords: Social Sciences
Political Science
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Qurtaba University of Science & Information Technology, Peshawar.
Abstract: The real aim of mediation is to balance the traffic, but today it is transforming into censorship that is leaping towards neo-censorship. This research explored the dynamics and implication of Cyber Laws in the local context of Pakistan and United States and then present understandings drawn from comparison of these laws in two states, in order to comprehend the complexity of this issue. The aim of this research is to expand the issue by applying Grounded Theory method. The researcher drew the main themes i.e. Democracy, Access to Information, Freedom of Expression, Privacy, Cyber Laws and Censorship from the archival study (newspaper monitoring) and interviews, and analyzed the facts by following the steps of grounded theory i.e. open coding, axial coding, and theoretical coding. The right to privacy, right to freedom of expression, and access to information is universally accepted foundational human right in all democracies of the world. It is a key to the protection of all human rights, lynchpin of democracy and essential to human dignity in its own right. It is also universally acknowledged that these rights of individual are necessary to formulate public opinion to strengthening democracy. Internationally accepted norms and standards of human rights are often violated by the governments and governmental agencies by taking the cover of laws. Violations related to media include number of measures such as filtering and blocking content, targeting dissident voices, and disconnecting access to technologies. Bloggers, journalists, civil society members, and other people who share their views online face such threat in many places around the world including United States (US) and Pakistan. Media censorship is a worldwide phenomenon that has foreshadowed information outlets for times. Maintenance of orderly state is a common ground for censorship, whereas the main objective is to keep people ignorant of the information that can be threaten authorities. The Civil Society and media personnel in Pakistan working under pressure. They are facing various types of threats. Pakistan is considered among worst countries when it comes to online user rights, freedom of expression, and citizens’ privacy. In the name of security, government has been diligently trying to enact the best of surveillance system in order to establish watchdog upon journalists, bloggers and vi other activists. Even governmental agencies have the access and permission to monitor cellphone communications and private emails in order to get evidence of terrorist activities, threatening privacy of citizens. For United States, it is normally expected and thought that media freedom would rank top in the world, but themes drawn in qualitative analysis speaks the different story. Freedom of expression in US is also on decline. Journalists and bloggers in US face threats and harassment online, for writing about political topics. To mediate the traffic of internet is a positive step in the sense that it makes possible to control the cybercrimes such as cyber theft, hacking, cyber frauds and other viruses, but censorship of media under the cover of cyber laws constricts freedom of expression and intrude on the privacy of general public, which ultimately leads to a tendency toward distrust in society. Mediation is converting, with the passage of time, into strict censorship especially in Pakistan. Qualitative results of the study reveal that in United States laws affecting the media and digital space are generally quite limited and tightly drafted, as compared to cyber laws of Pakistan, but both the countries are violating basic human rights i.e. access to information, freedom of expression and right to privacy in the name of media laws. Empirical results of the study reveal that 53% variation in Cyber Laws of Pakistan is due the combine role of mediation and censorship, while results are also significant for the both. On the other hand, 20% variation in cyber laws of United States is due to combine role of mediation and censorship, but results are only significant for mediation. This study aims on the qualitative-dominated mixed approach. Mixed methodology has been adopted. The major focus of this study was the collection and analysis of qualitative data. Quantitative analysis provided support to predominated qualitative analysis.
Gov't Doc #: 20741
Appears in Collections:PhD Thesis of All Public / Private Sector Universities / DAIs.

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