[ISN] E-crime law to improve Pakistan`s e-readiness ranking, says Awais

From: InfoSec News (alerts@private)
Date: Thu Jan 18 2007 - 22:32:45 PST


January 19, 2007

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information Technology Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari 
has said the adoption of cyber crime bill by the federal cabinet is a 
major step towards ensuring a secure business environment and promotion 
of e-commerce.

He said the e-crime bill which will be tabled in the parliament very 
soon, would help draw more business and improve Pakistan`s e-readiness 
ranking as reflected in indices maintained by various agencies and 
business journals of the world.

In a statement following an official meeting, the minister said the 
committee constituted by the prime minister and headed by his advisor 
Syed Shariffuddin Pirzada would recommend within a month the need for 
constitution of a new specialized agency or assigning the task of 
implementation of the law to any of the existing law-enforcement 

He said the e-crime law would require the internet companies maintain 
their traffic data for at least six months to enable the agencies to 
investigate cases involving data stored by them. He said the government 
would create special IT tribunals in Islamabad as well as provincial 
headquarters to investigate and check growing incidents of crimes which 
remained unpunished for a lack of specific law.

Awais Leghari said the proposed law titled as Prevention of Electronic 
Crimes Bill 2006 offers penalties ranging from six months imprisonment 
to capital punishment for 17 types of cyber crimes, including cyber 
terrorism, hacking of websites and criminal access to secure data.

He said the government had followed a thorough consultative process, 
including study of similar laws being practiced in 42 countries, to firm 
up the draft bill which after being passed by the legislature, would 
render reprehensible acts such as criminal intimidation and sexual 
harassment through internet, financial fraud and identity theft, 
hacking, illegal access to highly sensitive data and cyber terrorism 
which was becoming a global phenomenon.

He said the law would enable the government to seek extradition of 
foreign nationals through Interpol for their involvement in criminal 
activities punishable under the law. "This law would work like other 
laws of the country and the agencies would be able to seek extradition 
of foreign nationals residing in countries which have mutual extradition 
treatises signed with Pakistan," he added.

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