Bill on e-crime to be tabled in NA soon
ISLAMABAD, Aug 23: The Prevention of Electronic Crime Bill 2007 will soon be tabled in the Parliament for approval to fight cyber crimes.
“The federal cabinet’s approval of cyber crime bill is a major step towards ensuring a secure business environment and promotion of e-commerce,” Information Technology Minister Awais Ahmed Leghari, said at a news conference here on Thursday a day after the cabinet approved the bill against electronic crimes.
Hoping that the parliament would also immediately approve the bill against high-tech crimes, the move would help draw more business, the minister said adding, “it will also improve Pakistan’s e-readiness ranking as reflected in indices maintained by various agencies and business journals of the world.” During the briefing, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had been given the mandate to probe cases falling under the preview of the e-crime law.
Committed to fighting cyber crime, the Minister said that e- crime law would bound the internet companies to maintain their traffic data for at least six months to enable the agencies to investigate cases involving data stored by them.
Concerned over cyber crimes becoming more common as more businesses and government agencies provide services via the Internet, the Minister said, “The government will create special IT tribunals in Islamabad as well as provincial headquarters to investigate and check crimes which remained unpunished for lack of specific laws.”
Awais Leghari said the proposed law titled as Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2007 prescribed penalties ranging from six months to 10 years imprisonment for 17 types of cyber crimes, including cyber terrorism, hacking of websites and criminal access to secured 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.
“This was done to build up the draft bill which after being passed by the legislature, will 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.
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.