Pakistan is under fire for toughening its controversial cybercrime law.
It allows anyone to file a complaint against people posting fake news on Twitter and Facebook, and increases the prison term from three to five years for those found guilty.
Changes to the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act were introduced Sunday through a presidential ordinance or decree.
They have made spreading fake news or defaming any person or state institution online an offense for which there is no bail.
Political opponents and free speech advocates have denounced the move by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government as an attempt to stifle freedom of expression.
The criminal defamation law was originally enacted in 2016 by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government.
It was harshly criticized then as an assault on dissent and political rivals.