National Review: Pakistan’s Disturbing Digital Threat to Americans

February 02, 2021

O’Melveny partner Brett Williamson is defending pro bono client TrueIslam.com, the official website of the American Ahmadiyya Muslim community, against Pakistani authorities’ demands that the website be taken down and threats of jail penalties of up to ten years, based on claims that the site violates Pakistani blasphemy law, National Review reported.

The publication noted that in addition to the blasphemy laws, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has used its cybercrime statutes and new regulations enacted only last year to justify their claim of jurisdiction over the website.

“If the PTA’s absurd reading of the reach of [Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act] were correct—and it is not—the PTA could assert extraterritorial jurisdiction over every website in the world,” Williamson stated in response to the PTA’s claims against the website. “PTA seeks an unprecedented application of PECA, unmatched by virtually any other cybercrime bill in the world. Since it is implausible that the PTA could enforce an action on a US–based website (and the PTA surely recognizes that), the PTA’s intentions are clear: This is a malicious attempt to chill free speech and expression by a Muslim American website.”

Read the full article here.