FIA presents proposals to deal with cybercrime
LAHORE: As the Senate recently passed a law against cybercrime, the Federal Investigation agency (FIA) has proposed establishment of a special tribunal, purchase of (IT-related) equipment and extensive training of officials of all departments of law enforcement agencies to deal with the new challenge.
“The FIA has proposed to the interior ministry that there is an urgent need for capacity building of law enforcement agencies and acquiring of modern equipment by the departments concerned to deal with cybercrime offences after enactment of the new cyber law. There is also a need for setting up a special tribunal to exclusively hear the cases related to cybercrime. Otherwise, mere introducing a new cyber law may not fully help achieve the purpose,” an FIA official told Dawn on Monday.
The agency has also suggested that investigating officers, judges and prosecutors be taught local and international cyber laws and training of cybercrime investigation officers of FIA’s National Response Centre (NRC) be conducted by foreign experts.
“International linkage for information sharing regarding cyber security should be established and signing of international covenants and agreements for international cooperation in combating cybercrime should be made. In addition to this, procurement strategies for secure and resilient hardware and software products should be developed,” the FIA said.
The agency pointed out that since the general public and government institutions took cybercrime security casually which often resulted in hacking of accounts, misuse of IPs and breaking into software systems through backdoor and other serious offences, there was a need for launching awareness and education campaigns for cyber security (through media, seminars and workshops).
The NRC was established in 2007 at only five FIA stations — Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi (Islamabad), Peshawar and Quetta — with ‘limited’ resources, space, manpower and logistic support.
After the launch of 3G/4G technology in Pakistan, the use of internet has increased tremendously. The FIA official said that subscriber logs were not currently being provided by cellular companies, which meant that if a crime was committed by using 3G/4G subscriber, the IP (internet protocol) address of mobile number was not easily accessible.
The FIA called for developing a mechanism for monitoring internet traffic.
At present all internet service providers (ISPs) in the country are under the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
The FIA said that since Pakistan had not signed any mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) with the United States or other European countries, social networking sites often refused to provide detail of the suspects involved in cybercrimes through their websites.
“Technical experts of FIA’s cybercrime wing use their own social engineering methods to trace suspects. Different web hosting service providers also often do not provide data regarding ownership of websites, thus making it difficult to lay hand on suspects,” another FIA official said, adding that offenders usually used the software over internet or other different websites to make calls anonymously through Skype, Viber, etc.
“These calls do not reflect in the call data record. The mobile companies and other long distance and international licence calling companies should be directed to only allow those incoming calls which are through legitimate channels and also in proper caller line identification format,” he said.