A Country Without Cyber Law: Pakistan

law2Online activities are as vulnerable to crime as real life situations are. Law makers, Law enforcement and individuals need to know how to protect themselves. Though Cyber crime used to exist way before the innovation of computer, the only difference involves the tools used to commit the crime.

Some Main types of Cyber Crime are under:

  1. Assault by Threat: Threatening a person with fear for their lives or the lives of their families through Internet e.g. Email, videos or other networks like Mobile Phones etc.
  2. Cyber theft: Using a computer to steal. This includes activities related to DNS cache poisoning, identity theft, fraud embezzlement and unlawful appropriation, espionage etc.
  3. Cyber terrorism: Premeditated, usually politically-motivated violence committed against civilians through the use of, or with the help of, computer technology.
  4. Cyber laundering: electronic transfer of illegally-obtained monies with the goal of hiding its source and possibly its destination.

Though Pakistan is new member of cyber world i.e. Mobile Networks and Broadband connections and only few people know about cyber crime but in fact there is no such law to prevent cyber crimes right now.

One such law called Cyber Crime prevention bill was passed by Pakistan Federal Cabinet on Jan 17, 2007. The proposed law titled as “Prevention of electronic crimes bill” offered penalties ranging from six month of imprisonment to capital punishment for 17 types of cyber crimes including cyber terrorism, hacking of websites and criminal access to secure data.

But this proposed law was unable to get tabled in Parliament and in fact implemented as an ordinance by former President Musharraf on Jan, 07, 2008.

According to Ordinance, the accused could be fined one lack to five lack Rupees or three to ten years imprisonment or both.

Ordinance was later endorsed twice by PPP government for renewal, until it lapsed in November 2009 and was never taken care of then.

As age of any Presidential ordinance is only six weeks from the date of its promulgation in Pakistan, there is no such law at this particular time to prevent cyber crimes in Pakistan.

Current State of Crime in Pakistan

In absence of any such comparative law there is strong urge on our legislators to pass a law that can stand the complexities of today’s cyber world and apprehend the accused instead of accusing people of political revenge and calling them the cause of government’s own negligence and failure to meet the demands of today’s fast moving cyber world.

An FIA official in a conversation with ProPakistani said that agency has been reminding the concerned departments about the lapse of ordinance, but apparently they are either busy doing other businesses or they are deliberately not paying any attention.

He said that Cyber Crime law is supposed to be defined by Ministry of IT and Telecom, as internet domain is fairly covered by IT Ministry. He further added that it is the need of the hour to get Cyber Crime Law get passed from parliament to make it permanent part of Pakistani law.

I recently heard from a friend that you can hack any mobile number and check the record of sent and received text messages and calls. And the misery is that victim can’t fight his privacy breach (not to mention coz of law-less land), unless he is a minister and use his influence to impose relevant sections from penal code on culprit.

If this is the situation of crime then one wonders where government is and it is doing to stop such breach of privacy?