189% increase in online harassment complaints during lockdown in Pakistan

189% increase in online harassment complaints during lockdown in Pakistan

The Digital Rights Foundation says complaints to its Cyber ​​Harassment Helpline have increased by 189% during the nationwide lockdown in Pakistan to prevent the coronavirus.

"The lockdown in Pakistan began in March after the spread of the coronavirus, after which we feared an increase in online harassment cases in particular and cyberattacks in general," the NGO said in a statement.

The organization, which works for 'digital freedom' in the country, said it received a total of 136 complaints of cyber harassment during the lockdown in March and April, 189 percent more than in January and February.

Prior to the lockdown, the organization received 47 complaints of online harassment in January and February.

The statement said that 74 percent of the complaints received in March and April were made by women while 19 percent were received by men.

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The organization's Cyber ​​Harassment Helpline received most of the complaints during the lockdown, including blackmail by sharing someone's information, personal photos, and videos.

The organization said it also received complaints of posting hate speech, fraud, fake profiles, and defamation.

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The Digital Rights Foundation said that women in Pakistan face the same problems in the digital world as gender-based violence, including sexual harassment, surveillance, unauthorized use and dissemination of personal data and distortion of personal information.

The organization has also released a list of recommendations for policymakers and law enforcement agencies.

"These recommendations relate to issues that fall within the purview of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)," the statement said.
It also deals with how to deal with digital harassment cases as well as how to use technology, such as allowing video testimony.


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