Death Penalties for Cyber-Terrorism – Part of Law Now

This news report that appeared in “Daily Times” today (November 7th, 2008) – appears to be another interesting outcome of Government; as this “Prevention of Electronic Crimes Ordinance” is effective from September 29, however, the government just got late in announcing it.

Don’t get worried, my readers, In fact this story is not for everyone, because it says death penalties to those only, who are involved in Terrorism act, being carried away through computers and internet. Furthermore, death penalty is limited to an offense that ‘Causes death of any person’.

“Whoever commits the offense of cyber terrorism and causes death of any person shall be punishable with death or imprisonment for life, and with fine,” the new law states. In other cases, “he shall be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, or with fine not less than Rs 10 million, or with both”.

“Any person, group or organization who, with terroristic intent, utilizes, accesses or causes to be accessed a computer or computer network or electronic system or electronic device or by any available means, and thereby knowingly engages in or attempts to engage in a terrorist act commits the offense of cyber terrorism.”

‘Terroristic intent’ has been defined as: “To act with the purpose to alarm, frighten, disrupt, harm, damage, or carry out an act of violence against any segment of the population, the government or entity associated therewith”.

“Aiding the commission of or attempting to aid the commission of an act of violence against the sovereignty of Pakistan, whether or not the commission of such act of violence is actually completed; or stealing or copying, or attempting to steal or copy, or secure classified information or data necessary to manufacture any form of chemical, biological or nuclear weapon, or any other weapon of mass destruction also includes cyber terrorism,” states the ordinance.

Fraud, stalking, spamming: Criminal access to an electronic system will be punishable with up to two years in prison and a Rs 300,000 fine, according to the ordinance. Criminal data or system damage is punishable with up to three years.

Electronic fraud will be punishable with up to seven years of imprisonment and/or fine, ‘misuse’ of electronic systems with up to three years, unauthorized access to code with up to three years, and producing malicious code with up to five years.

Cyber stalking is punishable with up to seven years in prison and a Rs 100,000 fine, and up to 10 years if the victim is a minor.

Spamming will be punishable with up to a Rs 50,000 fine for the first offense, and three months in prison for subsequent offenses.

We are trying to bring in actual content of the draft, as we are not sure if this ordinance is the same one or not that was prepared by Musharraf’s Government – which may give us a clear definition of cyber terrorist. This law will also permit security agencies to enter any house and seize computer systems.

It merits mentioning here that Cyber Crime Law was introduced back in January 2008 by President Musharraf.

We hope that this “Unique Worldwide” law will not be abused by law enforcment agencies and government officials for their own interests.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK