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Anti-Cyber Crime Law Seeks Legislation in Pakistan

Pakistan Minister for IT (Information Technology), Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari visualizes cyber crime bill's adoption as a significant step in enforcing a secure ambiance for business and encouraging e-commerce.

On January 18, 2007 Awais Leghari said that the bill on Prevention of Cyber Crimes outlined the knowledge about electronic crimes and illegal online intrusion to spread it among general public. The bill would help improve e-readiness in Pakistan that would rank the country among indices drawn by various international business journals and agencies. The federal cabinet will soon table the e-crime bill in the parliament.

In an interview to PTV, Leghari said the IT Security Directorate will deliver services to coordinate the functions of Transportation Ministry, the National Intelligence Agency, security forces, agencies working for the protection of family and children and related associations and foundations concerned with online crime prevention.

After an official meeting, Leghari referred to a committee formed by the Prime Minister and lead by Syed Shariffudin Pirzada - his advisor. This committee will soon recommend formation of a special agency or choose any of the existing law-enforcement agencies and assign it the role of implementing the law, said the minister in a statement.

He further said that the new bill would regulate the usage of filtering programs and setting up and running of Internet cafes. The law will mandate ISPs to maintain records of e-mails and data for specific periods of time.

Leghari said that the law under proposition namely Prevention of Electronics Crime Bill 2006 imposes penalties varying between 6 months in jail to 17 types of execution for committing cyber crimes, hacking, cyber terrorism, and unauthorized access of protected data.

He said that government had executed a thorough consultation process along with examination of comparable laws implemented in 42 nations. The government did this to strengthen the draft bill, which when turns into law will censure acts like criminal threats, sexual torments through Internet, identity theft and financial fraud, hacking and illegal access to confidential data, & cyber terrorism.

The law is designed to help the government in extraditing foreign nationals engaged in any kind of criminal activity through the Internet.

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