January 19, 2007
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information Technology Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari
has said the adoption of cyber crime bill by the federal cabinet is a
major step towards ensuring a secure business environment and promotion
He said the e-crime bill which will be tabled in the parliament very
soon, would help draw more business and improve Pakistan`s e-readiness
ranking as reflected in indices maintained by various agencies and
business journals of the world.
In a statement following an official meeting, the minister said the
committee constituted by the prime minister and headed by his advisor
Syed Shariffuddin Pirzada would recommend within a month the need for
constitution of a new specialized agency or assigning the task of
implementation of the law to any of the existing law-enforcement
He said the e-crime law would require the internet companies maintain
their traffic data for at least six months to enable the agencies to
investigate cases involving data stored by them. He said the government
would create special IT tribunals in Islamabad as well as provincial
headquarters to investigate and check growing incidents of crimes which
remained unpunished for a lack of specific law.
Awais Leghari said the proposed law titled as Prevention of Electronic
Crimes Bill 2006 offers penalties ranging from six months imprisonment
to capital punishment for 17 types of cyber crimes, including cyber
terrorism, hacking of websites and criminal access to secure data.
He said the government had followed a thorough consultative process,
including study of similar laws being practiced in 42 countries, to firm
up the draft bill which after being passed by the legislature, would
render reprehensible acts such as criminal intimidation and sexual
harassment through internet, financial fraud and identity theft,
hacking, illegal access to highly sensitive data and cyber terrorism
which was becoming a global phenomenon.
He said the law would enable the government to seek extradition of
foreign nationals through Interpol for their involvement in criminal
activities punishable under the law. "This law would work like other
laws of the country and the agencies would be able to seek extradition
of foreign nationals residing in countries which have mutual extradition
treatises signed with Pakistan," he added.
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