Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rehman has said that the amended “Electronic Crime Bill, 2016” will be made a law next week to effectively deal with cyber crimes throughout the country.
“The amended bill will be presented before the National Assembly and would become a law,” she said in an interview.
After passing of the bill from the Senate, it would be sent back to the National Assembly as few amendments are made in the bill. The bill will come into law, after it sails through the Lower House.
Nevertheless, the opposition’s claims of bringing 50 amendments in the electronic crime bill couldn’t be verified. It was learnt that only eight minor amendments were suggested: four by Senator Aitzaz Ahsan and four by other opposition members on Friday. These are slight amendments/changes and would not affect the basic structure of the bill.
Anusha Rehman also criticised Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for his objections to the bill at the eleventh hour while saying that the party had nominated Senator Farhatullah Babar who gave a significant input on the bill.
The minister said that the proposed law would help in reduction of women harassment. “Women living in rural areas sometimes fall prey through internet/social media/computer and get victimise, but this law would help reduce such crimes,” she added.
The IT minister said internet was the engine of economic growth in the modern world and any country could not afford to block it every time, but added that there was need of such a piece of legislation to resolve the issue permanently.
Currently Pakistan has no law to comprehensively deal with the growing threat of cyber crimes. Telecommunication laws have no such provisions to deal with traditional online crime, said the minister, adding that effectively addressing these unique and unprecedented crimes with similarly unique and necessary procedural powers required a completely new and comprehensive legal framework that focuses on online conduct of individuals/organisations in the virtual world.
She further said that the legislation therefore established new offences including illegal access of data (hacking), as well as interference with data and information systems, specialised cyber-related electronic forgery and electronic fraud, cyber terrorism (electronic or cyber attack on the critical information infrastructure), unauthorised interception conducted by civilians, use of malicious code viruses and identity theft.
There goes freedom of thought, religion and the right to freedom of speech, opinion and constructive criticism. Congrats.
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