“Chaukas” Countering Hate Speech Is A Smart Phone App By NACTA

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“Chaukas” Countering Hate Speech Is A Smart Phone App By NACTA

“Chaukas” Countering Hate Speech Is A Smart Phone App By NACTA:

National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) which is authorized to devise a counter-terrorism strategy that would address short, medium and long-term goals and establish action plans for their implementation has developed a smartphone app ‘Chaukas’ under its Tat’heer programme. Roughly 35 million people have access on the internet so it has been conceived to counter radicalism and extremism on the internet. It is aimed at countering online hate speech in Pakistan.

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, launched the app at the NACTA headquarters under Tat’heer’s Surfsafe portal on Monday. “Surfsafe” is an online reporting portal for Pakistanis to report extremist online content freely, securely and anonymously. The mission of “surf safer” is to counter online extremism, map and eliminate extremist content, help victims of extremism by regaining space for values of moderation, love and fraternity in cyber-sphere through community participation.

According to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), about 51 million of Pakistan’s 190 million people have internet access. Twitter last year also announced it had suspended 376,890 accounts globally that were promoting violence and terrorism. The other purpose of the responsive web portal is to create eyes and ears in cyber-sphere to counter radical and extremist ideology in the online realm.

On the reports of National Action Plan (NAP) about NACTA app Review of December 2017, the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) has launched another smartphone app ‘Chaukas’ a cyber-counter terrorism drive that includes mapping radical content available on the internet.

“Chaukas” Countering Hate Speech Is A Smart Phone App By NACTA
“Chaukas” Countering Hate Speech Is A Smart Phone App By NACTA

The main aim of the app is to help people identify hate content, giving the user options to send a photograph, video, banners and activities or written material which will then be passed on to the relevant law enforcement agencies.

According to the app’s introduction page, it is an online reporting portal for Pakistanis to report extremist online content freely, securely and anonymously. Apart from the community e-scouts, the academia, intelligentsia, NGOs/INGOs and independent consultants may also step forward.

“Anything that is reported to us will then be passed on to a committee which will look at the content and see if it falls into the category of hate speech. Since we are not an enforcement agency, we will then forward the complaint to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) or others,” NACTA official said. Discussing what constitutes hate speech, NACTA Director Mr Ehsan Ghani said that they were adhering to the Anti-Terrorism Act and a Supreme Court ruling which defined hate speech along with constitutional provisions on free speech.

The Chaukas app is available and free to download on the Google play and Apple stores.

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