FIA to Launch Cyber Patrolling Unit

The government is all set to establish Cyber Patrolling Unit (CPU), said the Ministry of Interior while responding to a question in the National Assembly.

Minister for Interior, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, in a written response, said that the Cybercrime Wing of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is in the process of establishing a Cyber Patrolling Unit (CPU), the main purpose of which is the monitoring of social media/cyberspace, and pointing out social media trend covering different subjects of interest like harassment of women journalists, etc.

The budget for the CPU has been allocated, and it will start functioning in two to three months positively.


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He said that cybercrime Wing-FIA has a complaint-based system. Furthermore, Cybercrime Wing-FIA has received only one complaint of Maham Waseem, anchor of AbbTakk news, which is under inquiry (Re-242/20).

The threat, defamation through social media is dealt with under section 20, 24 of PECA Act 2016, which is non-cognizable.

Cybercrime Wing-FIA, apart from investigation periodically, initiates cybercrime awareness in the general public through electronic and social media, the ministry added.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has so far blocked 952,147 Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) containing objectionable content, according to the Ministry for Information Technology and Telecommunication (MOIT&T).

The thorough written response stated that the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act (PECA) 2016 is in place to curb the dissemination of objectionable content on the internet in Pakistan.

Under section 37 of PECA 2016, PTA is empowered to issue directions for removal or blocking of offensive information in the interest of religion(s) and the integrity, security, and defense of Pakistan.


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Under section 37 (2) of PECA 2016, the Federal Government has recently approved the Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight, and Safeguards) Rules 2020, which will further strengthen the process and oversight mechanism for the procedure of filing, processing, and disposal of complaints related to unlawful online content.

Under section 29 of PECA 2016, FIA has been empowered to prosecute individuals involved in crimes committed under the said Act.

As part of the public awareness campaign, PTA has taken several steps to educate the general public through SMS and advertisements to report any unlawful online content to PTA for blocking/removal through a designated electronic portal.