Only one of 29 accused convicted: Cyber crime -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Only one of 29 accused convicted: Cyber crime

LAHORE: Only one accused has so far been convicted since the establishment of FIA’s anti-cyber crime cell (Lahore region) in September 2005. The cell has so far arrested some 29 people from Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad and Gujranwala for committing frauds of millions of rupees through counterfeit credit cards. Officials say compoundable nature of the offence is responsible for poor conviction rate. They say that unless strict legislation is not enacted, the situation will not improve.

At present, the cell is charging the accused under the Electronic Transactions Ordinance (sections 36 and 37). Under section 36, any person who gains or attempts to gain access to any information system with or without intent to acquire the information contained therein or gain knowledge of such information, whether or not he\she is aware of the nature or contents of such information, when he\she is not authorised to gain access shall be guilty of an offence punishable with either description of a term not exceeding seven years, or fine which may extend to Rs1 million or both.

Under section 37, any person who does or attempts to do any act with intent to alter, modify, delete, remove, generate, transmit or store any information through or in any information system knowingly that he\she is not authorised to do any of the foregoing, shall be guilty of an offence punishable with either description of a term not exceeding seven years, or fine which may extend to Rs1 million or both. The officials say a new draft bill on cyber crime has been prepared but it is yet to be presented in the assembly for approval.

They point out that the cell is only dealing with credit card fraud cases and it does not have a capacity to check computer network breaking, industrial espionage, software piracy, e-mail bombing and hacking. The cell has three staff members an assistant director, a sub-inspector and a constable. “It needs at least three inspectors as many sub-inspectors, 10 constables trained on modern lines, transport and a computer laboratory to deal with cyber crime,” they say.

“At present, there is no special agency in the country working to combat cyber crime, therefore, no data is available about different types of cyber crime being committed in the country. The Punjab police had established an electronic crime unit a few years ago but it is no more functional as it lacks an affective network of human intelligence, trained officials and modern technology,” they add.

Source: Dawn

Date:1/18/2007