Computer Crime Research Center


Cyber Crimes Ordinance significant step to ensure secure ambiance for business: Dr. Abdullah

Date: January 10, 2008

ISLAMABAD, Jan 10 (APP): Caretaker Minister for Information Technology Dr. Abdullah Riar Thursday said the Cyber Crimes Ordinance 2007 is a significant step in enforcing a secure ambiance for business and encouraging e-commerce in the country.

“The Ordinance outlined the knowledge about electronic crimes and illegal online intrusion to spread it among general public,” he said while addressing a news conference here.

The Ordinance promulgated on December 31 2007, would help improve e-readiness in Pakistan that would rank the country among indices drawn by various international business journals and agencies.

The Minister said the government would constitute special IT tribunals in Islamabad and provincial capitals to investigate and check growing electronic crime incidents, which were going unpunished due to the lack of specific legislation.

He said the Ordinance covers various aspects, including criminal data access, data damage, system damage, electronic fraud, electronic forgery, misuse of electronic systems or electronic devices, unauthorized access to code, misuse of encryption, malicious code, cyber stalking, spamming, spoofing, unauthorized interception and cyber terrorism.

The Minister outlined the list of offences and penalties as follows. Cyber terrorism would be punished with death or life imprisonment and cyber stalkers would be sentenced to seven years imprisonment and/or a fine of Rs 300,000.

Electronic fraud and forgery cases will be liable to seven years non-bailable imprisonment. Cases of unauthorized interception of electronic communication, such as emails, will be subjected to five years imprisonment and/or a fine of Rs 500,000.

Cases involving misuse of encryption and using malicious code would be liable to five years imprisonment. Three years imprisonment has been approved for criminal data access-which is a serious violation of the right to protect personal data-and data damage crimes, involving illegal manipulation of an organisation’s financial records or other information.

A three-year imprisonment term has also been set for launching denial of service or distributed denial of service attacks, and for misuse of electronic systems or electronic devices wherein software or hardware is developed with trap doors for manipulation.

Unauthorized access to code, a crime in which software code is accessed by using an SAL injection to gain the system password and other information, will also be liable to three-year imprisonment.

Cases involving any attempt to obtain confidential information through electronic devices such as network systems or routers will be sentenced to two years imprisonment and/or a fine of 300,000 rupees.

Spamming will invite a Rs 50,000 fine and spoofing cases would be sentenced to three years imprisonment.

Dr. Abdullah said the e-crime law would require internet service providers to retain their traffic data for at least six months to enable relevant agencies to investigate e-crime cases.

He said similar laws being enforced in 42 countries have been studied before promulgating the Ordinance that would enable the government to seek extradition of foreign nationals through Interpol for involvement in criminal activities.

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