A resident from Nowshera district in KPK was arrested on Monday on allegations of blackmailing women on social media. This is the first case that has been registered under the Cyber Crime Bill.
The DPO from Nowshera said that the 29 year old suspect Mehranullah used to blackmail women on Facebook by uploading fake videos. The suspect also gave the police names of 15 other people who he claimed were also involved in blackmailing victims on social media.
Controversy Surrounding the Bill
Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill was approved on 11th August by the National Assembly amidst controversy. The objections surrounding the cybercrime bill came from opposition parties which stated that certain sections of the cybercrime bill prevented freedom of speech.
The bill was passed by the Senate unanimously following eight amendments made to the bill. Earlier there were 47 amendments suggested by the lower house to the Senate standing committee on April 13th.
The cybercrime prevention bill generally covers most cybercrimes, including hate speech, cyberterrorism, illegal issuance of SIM cards, electronic fraud, cyber terrorism and more.
Inconsistencies in the Bill
Three days ago, Pakistan Awami Tehreek challenged the cybercrime bill in Lahore High Court. According to the petition, section 10 (Cyber Terrorism), section 18 (Act Against the Dignity of a Person) and section 32 (Powers of Designated Officers) go against the rights provided by the Constitution of Pakistan. It mentioned that the state cannot pass a law which violates basic human rights.
Although the bill is far from perfect, there was a dire need of having a basic structure in place for punishing cybercrimes which were not covered by the Constitution of Pakistan. However, it’s also paramount that we get it right.
The enforcement of the cybercrime law depends on the government so whether we see widespread arrests and punishments doled out against the offenders is yet to be seen. One thing is for sure, this case will be monitored very closely since it sets the tone and precedent.
Via Express Tribune