Following scriptwriter Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar’s verbal abuse against activist Marvi Sirmed, her phone number and email address have been leaked online.
Taking to Twitter on Friday, Sirmed shared that she has been getting rape and murder threats and been asked to sell sex.
“Average rate of abusive and threatening messages so far is over 10k per hour,” reads the tweet.
Average rate of abusive and fhreatening messages so far is over 10k per hour https://t.co/F7rHVVBQcn— Marvi Sirmed (@marvisirmed) March 6, 2020
Why was Sirmed attacked by doxxing
It all started Tuesday night when scriptwriter Qamar swore at Sirmed on a talk show on NEO News that was broadcast live.
He abused Sirmed, called her unsavoury names and body-shamed her on the show. Qamar appeared to be having a reaction to the Aurat March slogan ‘mera jism meri marzi [My body, my choice]’. Since then, Sirmed has been getting trolled, doxxed and abused by Qamar’s supporters or those against the Aurat March.
Is doxxing a crime?
This kind of malicious publication of private information or documents with personal identification information on the internet is called doxxing. It is a crime under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016. It is also considered a revenge tactic by hackers.
FIA Deputy Director Abdul Ghaffar told SAMAA Digital that the hackers who did this can be imprisoned for two years or fined up to Rs3 million to Rs5 million under the PECA for “unauthorised use of identity information”.
Can you register a complaint against doxxing
“A case can be registered against the harasser and against the website who leaked/ publish the private information,” said Ghaffar. However, getting an FIR against such a crime is not that easy. “For doxxing cases one cannot file a direct FIR. For such non-cognizable offences one has to get special permission from the court and only then the case can proceed,” he said.
According to the Code of Criminal Procedure a ‘non-cognizable offence’ is an offence for which a police officer may not arrest someone without warrant.
How to get your personal information removed
Ghaffar explained that it depends on what platform or medium has been used for doxxing. “Different strategies are used to get the leaked information removed from Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, email and WhatsApp,” he said. He explained that the FIA writes a letter to the platforms to get the information removed.
He added that if the information has been published on a certain website, FIA traces the host logins and with the help of the PTA and gets it blocked.
“If the website is very known then we get the certain section of the information removed,” said Ghaffar.
What is doxxing?
Earlier, Ahmed Godil, Hareem Shah, Sarmad Khoosat and Qandeel Baloch have all been doxxed in this common revenge tactic.
Doxing is short for “dropping docs” or documents and has become one of the most dangerous things on the internet.
Here is everything you need to know about doxxing and why it is the most dangerous thing on the internet.
A number of hackers used it in the 1990s. They get someone’s personal data and published it online so everyone can see. Hackers can then accesses information from anyone’s social media, blogs, old websites, forums and web discussions or online games.
Khalil Ur Rehman reaction
In a separate TV show on Express News, the drama writer said he had no remorse over his behaviour on Neo News. He claimed that he had not grown upset with Sirmed chanting ‘Mera Jism, Meri Marzi’ but because she had interrupted him.
Following the backlash, Geo Entertainment and 7th Sky Entertainment announced on Thursday that they had suspended their contract with the writer.
In a statement, Geo Entertainment said that the channel and production house have suspended a four-drama and one film contract with Qamar “until he apologises for using indecent language in a TV show”.
The company had entered into a non-exclusive agreement with the writer, similar to the ones he has with other TV channels.
However, Qamar announced the immediate cancellation of his contracts with the channel. He assured people that he will not work with Geo for the “rest of his life”.
Taking to his Twitter account, Qamar said that he will not apologise to satisfy anyone. “…Geo Entertainment has demanded an apology from me to satisfy the ulterior motives of a few foreign-funded feminists and justify their ugly and shameless slogans,” reads his statement.