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DRF reports 189% increase in cyber-harassment complaints amid lockdown

DRF reports 189% increase in cyber-harassment complaints amid lockdown
KARACHI: The Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) has reported a 189 percent increase in cyber-harassment complaints registered with their helpline during Pakistan’s coronavirus lockdown.
In this regard, the not-for-profit organisation issued a press release today (Wednesday). The press release said, “As Pakistan entered its lockdown [in March] in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, we feared there would be an increase in cyber-harassment cases as well as cyber attacks in general.”

The organisation reported a combined 136 complaints of cyber harassment in March and April — during the lockdown — compared to 47 such complaints, an increase of 189pc, before the lockdown in January and February.
The press release informed that 74 percent of the complaints registered in March and April were reported by women, whereas, men and non-binary persons registered 19 percent and 5 percent complaints, respectively.
“A majority of the cases that the organisation’s cyber harassment helpline received during the lockdown months “pertained to blackmailing through non-consensual sharing of information, intimate pictures and videos,” the press release added.
The organisation also penned down a list of recommendations for policymakers and Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA).
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