Computer Crime Research Center


FIA can apprehend cyber criminals

Date: March 09, 2008
By: Jamaluddin Jamali

LAHORE: Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) can register FIR in cases where it finds any body involved in misuse of Short Message Service (SMS) or electronic email for the purpose of provoking a person to commit violation or stage protest against the interests of the state.

In case a person sends an immoral SMS message to a person against his or her will then he or she can complaint against it to FIA which has got the legal jurisdiction to register an FIR on the basis of the contents of the SMS or email and send the challan against such offender to a court of law under Prevention of Electronic Crime Ordinance 2007. Section 13 of Cyber Stalking Prevention of Electronic Crime Ordinance allows FIA to look into such offences and register FIR where such breach of Cyber crime has been noticed by the FIA.

Offences of unauthorised and illegal use of ATM cards, credit cards and illegal and unauthorised access to e-commerce fall under the ordinance which include all devices such as cellular mobiles, emails and others electronic devices related to the access to private or public information personal or otherwise.

As per law Information Technology Tribunals (ITT) needed to be established for hearing of cases registered by FIA under Prevention of Electronic Crime Ordinance 2007 but the tribunal could not be established till now and for the time being jurisdiction of hearing cases had been given to banking courts and FIA submits challan of cyber crimes to banking courts for regular hearing of such cases. FIA had had registered a few cases of offence committed involving credit cards and emails but could not submit challan of cases as it was not clear which court had the jurisdiction of hearing cases registered under Prevention of Electronic Crime Ordinance 2007.

According to a notification issued by Ministry of Law the jurisdiction of hearing cases has been given to the banking courts and the judges of banking courts are busy studying Cyber Law which is altogether a new phenomenon in Pakistan.

An expert of Cyber Law, SJ Tubrazy, while talking to The Post said that Cyber law had some lacunas and ambiguities in it and if the sections of Cyber law are applied mistakenly the an ordinary offences can be converted into a Cyber Terrorism crime for which under the ordinance there is penalty of death. He feared that the Cyber Terrorism will be misused in Pakistan. The section 3 of the ordinance is about offence of criminal access to electronic information, section 4 is about criminal data access, section 5 is about system damage, section 6 is about misuse of electronic system, section 9 is about unauthorised access to code, section 12 is about malicious code, and section 16 is about unauthorised identity theft.

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