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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