Protection from cyber crimes: IT, telecom policy to be presented soon, says minister
ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication is devising a comprehensive IT and Telecom Policy to ensure the maximum protection to masses from the widespread cyber crimes including financial scams, fraudulent online activities and women harassment.
This was stated by State Minister of IT and Telecommunication Anusha Rehman at the ‘1st Consumers IT and Telecom Conference’ organised by Consumers Association of Pakistan (CAP) held in Islamabad on Thursday.
Federal IT and Telecommunication Secretary Akhlaq Ahmed Tarar, Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) Chairman Dr Ismail Shah, CAP Chairman Kaukab Iqbal, Competition Commission of Pakistan Chairman Dr Joseph Wilson, Universal Services Fund CEO Faisal Sattar, First Global Data Pakistan CEO and Country Manager Khalid Mahmood, One Apple Pakistan Regional Head Asia Pacific Syed Tahir Rizvi, China Mobile Pakistan CEO Fan Yun Jun, Techaccess Pakistan President and Chief Executive Syed Iqtedar Zaidi and Soft World International General Manager Karim Peerani also poke on the occasion.
Addressing as a chief guest, Ms Rehman said the draft of controlling electronic crime bill has been finalised to be presented in the assembly at the earliest whereas the IT and Telecom Policy will be rolled out in June this year.
She said the government has been working aggressively to bring advancement in the country through deployment of Information Communication Technologies in all walks of life promoting living standards of the people and bolstering economic activities in all nook and corners of Pakistan.
The Ministry of IT has been involved in various mega projects including introduction of next generation technology in the country, establishment of tele-centres in underprivileged cities and village and expansion of branchless banking in the far-flung areas.
The ministry is actively working for addressing critical and protracted unresolved issues of grey trafficking of international calls and cyber crimes in the country, which could be curbed in collaboration with different domestic and international agencies and private sector of the country.
Iqbal said the public grievances in today’s digital world are rampant and remain largely unaddressed though regulators and stakeholders are unaware of the ways to resolve issues of their consumers of the biggest utility unfortunately.
The usability of information and telecom technology is diminished when consumers are victimised by anti-social elements through their malpractices by hackers who directly hit financial transactions illegally, senders of SMS to create harassment, usage of illegal SIMs, usage of mobile phones for terrorist activities and through deceptive marketing practices adopted by various companies offering packages to public on false claims.
All telecom companies should not be allowed in any case to adopt deceptive marketing practices by offering in their sales promotion schemes bumper cash prizes, cars and foreign visits to general public, Iqbal demanded and said there should not be any hidden charges in the rates or tariff of telecom companies.
The suspension of cell phone services countrywide must be discouraged as ambulance, fire, medical and other essential services are hampered bitterly on these occasions, he added.