The Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT) has finalized a draft proposal to make provision for the prevention of electronic crimes in the country.
As stated in the draft, the Act is named the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2014.
Such an Act was definitely required in Pakistan as the use of IT across the country has grown exponentially in the past few years. Both businesses and individuals will surely welcome the implementation of this Act.
Commenting on the Draft the Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecom Ms. Anusha Rehman stated, “We are going to table a comprehensive Cyber crime bill before the cabinet which has been prepared in consultation with all stakeholders over the last 3 years. International best practices have been taken in to consideration while drafting it.”
The submission of the Draft to the cabinet is expected this week. The State Minister chaired a meeting to review the final draft of the bill. The meeting was also attended by Mr. Akhlaq A. Tarrar, Secretary IT, Mr. Muhammad Amir Malik, Member (IT), Mr. Yasir Qadir, Member (Telecom) and representatives from Ministry of law, PTA, FIA and representative of ISPAK, PASHA and Barrister Zahid Jamil.
It is learned that Barrister Zahid Jamil – and his team – drafted the bill.
Once implemented, Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2014 will help curb the illegal and unauthorized access to information system. The abuse and misuse of technology should be addressed under this Cyber Crimes Law.
According to the draft bill posted on MoIT’s website, the Act will deal with Illegal access to information system, Illegal access to program or data, Illegal interference with program or data, Illegal interference with information system, Cyber terrorism, Electronic forgery, Electronic fraud, Identity crime, Special protection of women amongst many other things.
Only the investigation officer of the investigation agency will have the power of arrest.
According to the proposed draft, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) or any other investigating agency May be appointed by the Federal Government for cases of cyber crime.
The draft bill proposes that ‘The Federal Government may cooperate with any foreign Government, 27 x 7 network, any foreign agency or any international agency for the purposes of investigations or proceedings concerning offences related to information systems, electronic communication or data.’
The bill further adds that no person whether it is a police officer or investigation officer, other than an investigating officer of the special investigation agency, has the authority to investigate the offence under this Act.
E-Crime bill has suggested following punishments for cyber/E-crimes:
- As per draft regulation, a person accessing an information system – any device that has processing power, operates electronically and stores sensitive and private data – without authorization may face imprisonment for up to six months and a fine of up to Rs. 100,000 or both. Changing content of information system may result into imprisonment of up to nine months or a fine of up to Rs. 200,000.
- Unauthorized destruction/deletion of data may result into imprisonment of up to three years or a fine of up to Rs. 500,000 or both.
- Accessing an information system to spread panic/fear or if such access is rated as severe cyber terrorism then punishment can extent to imprisonment for up to fourteen years or a fine of up to Rs. 50 million or both.
- Electronic forgery will be punished with imprisonment of up to two years or a fine of up to Rs. 200,000 or both
- If electronic fraud is found and proved then guilty can face an imprisonment of up to five years or a fine of up to Rs. 10 million or both.
- If someone is found guilty of posing another person’s identity then he/she may face imprisonment of three months of a fine of Rs. 50,000 or both
- Unauthorized interception of private data (for example hacking emails) can result into imprisonment of two years or a fine up to Rs. 500,000 or both
- Special protection for women: If someone is found publicly spreading any content (video/pictures/audio) that may harm the reputation of women then he/she may face imprisonment for one year or a fine up to Rs. 1 million or both
Download Draft E-Crime Bill
For more details on the punishments and scenarios check here the complete draft of the e-crime bill. Download here (PDF File – 405KB)