Cyber crimes bill | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Cyber crimes bill

Pakistan Press Foundation

In the modern world everything is going cyber — from online stores to libraries. Thus, the cyber crime ratio is also increasing exponentially. According to the Norton Cyber Crime report for 2011, a little over 430m were victims of cyber crime in that year alone.

The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill was proposed, offering penalties ranging from six months to 17 years of jail for cyber crimes in 2007. These crimes included cyber terrorism, pornography, hacking of websites, cyber stalking and criminal access to secure data.

Unfortunately, this proposed law was not tabled on time in the parliament and thus was eventually implemented as an ordinance in January 2008.

During the PPP regime the ordinance was endorsed twice but left unattended to lapse during November 2009.

Since then, the Federal Investigative Agency has been dealing with cyber crime under the Electronic Transaction Ordinance, which was not formulated to attend cyber crimes or the SMS fraud, which is another menace in itself.

After two long years a restructured draft of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Ordinance was completed in 2013 but its subjectivity to comments from all entities involved delayed the matter till late 2013. So far the bill has not been put forth in the parliament for approval. With no proper laws, even the law-enforcement agencies cannot do much about the issue.

This ordinance has become even more necessary with the evolution of cyber crime such as identity theft.

Saad B. Murtaza