E-crime law to enhance Pakistan's e-readiness ranking, says Awais

E-crime law to enhance Pakistan's e-readiness ranking, says Awais
E-crime law to enhance Pakistan's e-readiness ranking, says Awais 

August 23, 2007

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information Technology Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari 
Thursday said the adoption of cyber crime bill by the federal cabinet 
was a major step towards ensuring a secure business environment and 
promotion of e-commerce.

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.

The minister was addressing a press conference a day after the federal 
cabinet approved the Prevention of Electronic Crime Bill 2007. The 
Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has been given the mandate to probe 
cases falling under the preview of the e-crime law.

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 

Awais Leghari said the proposed law titled as Prevention of Electronic 
Crimes Bill 2007 offers penalties ranging from six months to 10 years of 
punishment for 17 types of cyber crimes, including cyber terrorism, 
hacking of websites and criminal access to secure data. Thirteen of the 
crimes listed under the law are bailable.

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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