Are we prepared for the cyber age?
By: Jawad Hussain Aadil
ISLAMABAD: Skyfall, the most recent James Bond flick to hit the cinema screens, is premised on cybercrime. One of the scenes in the movie shows the antagonist, an evil genius, manipulating everything from stock prices to power systems from a laptop from a remote location. The possibility is not too far removed from reality, as even Leon E Panetta, the US Defense Secretary, once remarked that “An aggressor nation or extremist group could use these kinds of cyber tools to gain control of critical switches.”
The movie made me think. In Pakistan, we have laws for nearly everything, but the implementation of these laws is very selective. In light of my experience as a practicing lawyer, I know that only the rich can navigate the labyrinthine legal codes of Pakistan with the help of their fancy attorneys. The common man cannot survive.
Pakistani financial institutions are equipping themselves with the latest online payment technologies and techniques. What is scary is that if a global superpower like the US considers cybercrime a potent existential threat, Pakistan’s forays into this uncharted territory without proper legislation may put it at serious risk of exploitation.
The domain of cybercrime cannot be narrowed down or limited. The internet is everywhere. People are increasingly connected to technology. It is becoming intricately wound up in our lives.
The government must come up with a stricter penal code for cyber crime than the Prevention of Electronic Crime Ordinance of 2007. The Indian IT Bill, 2000, can be a helpful resource in this regard, in my opinion.