It is a truth universally acknowledged that a government, in the wake of a national security crisis—or hostage to the perceived threat of one—will pursue and in many cases enact legislation that is claimed to protect its citizens from danger, actual or otherwise. These security laws often include wide-ranging provisions that do anything but protect their citizens’ rights or their safety. We have seen this happen time and time again, from the America’s PATRIOT Act to Canada’s C-51. The latest wave of statements by politicians after the Paris bombing implies we will see more of the same very soon.

Not keen to be left out, Pakistan has now joined the ranks of countries using “cybercrime” and terrorism to rewrite the protections for their nationals’ privacy and right to free expression. In January 2015 the Government of Pakistan drafted the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill (PECB). Ostensibly the PECB was written to address new digital issues, such as cyberstalking, forgery, and online harassment. The reality is the PECB contains such broad legal provisions that that it would criminalize everyday acts of expression while undermining the right to privacy of Pakistani citizens. Read complete bill below.

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Courtesy BoloBhi and Eff.Org Foundation