Govt Approves FIA as Designated Agency to Deal with Cyber Crimes

Federal Cabinet today approved Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) as the “designated agency” to deal with cyber crimes under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016.

This was done during a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif where an 18-point agenda was also discussed.

Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication had proposed the designation of FIA under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016, which was approved.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) had yesterday proposed to nominate FIA as “designated agency” to deal with cyber crimes under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016.

The first meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Committee constituted by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to develop the organizational structure and rules for implementation of PECA 2016 was held yesterday.

Sources revealed that the meeting was informed that the number of reported cyber crimes cases are increasing, particularly after the enactment of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016.

According to officials, currently FIA is receiving about 2000-2100 complaints of cyber crimes per month and they expect this number to increase with time.

It was also revealed that FIA is the only Agency having the capacity and capability to deal with cyber crimes while putting in place state-of-the-art labs, manpower and resources. However the only lacuna they faced was the absence of proper legislation, said sources. They added that the after the new legislation, the Agency will be empowered to act more promptly.

It was suggested in the meeting that by keeping in view the capacity and capability of FIA to deal with cyber crimes, the committee may suggest FIA to be nominated as “designated agency” as enshrined in section 29 of PECA 2016.

The IMC also constituted a sub-committee comprising all agencies to come up with an action plan for the next meeting.

The body also discussed in length the nomination of the courts for prosecution of cyber crimes cases, and the establishment of a cyber emergency response team. The participants were informed that about 100 cases may be sent for prosecution per month. However, a final decision in this regard would be taken, once the framework is finalized by the sub-committee.

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