Digital Crimes and the Cyber Crime Act

10

Introduction

Who would have thought that in the 21st century, law-enforcement agencies would have to deal with crimes that are committed using 1s and 0s. Yes, we are talking about cybercrime or a crime that involves the use of any computer or network in pursuance of an evil or malafide intention to bring harm to another person or cause them some sort of physical, emotional, or financial loss. This article refers to the cybercrime bill in Pakistan and highlights the ways the provisions of this act can be benefited from.

Pakistan Penal Code has already been in effect since long. It’s the branch of law that penalizes the offences committed by the citizens and ascertains the limitations for people within with they can behave with each other. However, since Pakistan has been late in technology adoption, offences relating to internet and the issues incidental to digital world were never covered in the penal code.

In 2016, the NA unanimously passed the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill (PECB) – the law which was meant to cover cybercrimes in Pakistan on a larger scale. This law is not limited to spamming or hacking only – though it amicably covers these aspects as well – but, it also has a strict control over the misuse of the internet, including fake profiles, online harassment etc.

Even though the relevant authorities are doing all it takes to create awareness amongst the people with regard to the understanding of the bill and how it can be put into force, most of the people don’t know what is cybercrime bill in Pakistan.

We have put together a list of crimes and the punishments therewith to sketch a basic understanding of what kind of offences are covered in this act.

List of Cyber Crimes and Their Punishments in Pakistan

The following is a comprehensive list of cybercrimes. The passage also explains about cybercrime punishment in Pakistan

  1. Spreading False Information about an Individual
  2. Creating/Spreading Explicit Images or Videos of an Individual
  3. Making/Spreading Explicit Images or Videos of Minor
  4. Child pornography
  5. Cyber stalking
  6. Hacking Email and Phone for Stalking
  7. Making Videos/Pictures and Distributing without Consent
  8. Cyber Stalking a Minor
  9. Hate speech
  10. Spamming
  11. Spoofing
  12. Malicious Code
  13. Unauthorized Access to Information System or Data
  14. Unauthorized Copying or Transmission of Data
  15. Interference with information system or data
  16. Unauthorized copying or transmission of critical infrastructure data
  17. Interference with critical infrastructure information system or data
  18. Glorification of an offence
  19. Online Recruitment, Funding of Terrorism
  20. Electronic forgery
  21. Electronic forgery of Critical Infrastructure
  22. Electronic fraud
  23. Making, obtaining, or supplying device for use in offence
  24. Unauthorized use of identity information
  25. Unauthorized issuance of SIM cards
  26. Unauthorized interception

How to File a Complaint

All of the above mentioned offences are covered by the recently passed bill. It is advised that everyone should get themselves familiar with the rule of law so that they know how they can defend themselves in tricky situations.

The process of filing a complaint is easy and hassle-free. A complaint can be registered by using any one of the following methods:

Register Complaint against Cyber Crimes by filling form online:

Register Complaint against Cyber Crimes with Email:

Write an application with all possible details and your complete credentials (Name, Address, CNIC, and Contact No.) and email it at: helpdesk@nr3c.gov.pk

Register Complaint against Cyber Crimes by writing hard-copy application:

Write an application with all possible details and your complete credentials (Name, Address, CNIC, and Contact No.) and send the application to this address:

Director NR3C-FIA,

National Police Foundation Building,

2nd Floor, Mauve Area, G-10/4,

Islamabad

Registering Complaint by Walking to NR3C Regional office:

Visit any of the regional offices of NR3C and register your complaint in person. No appointment is necessary to visit the office.

Below are the contact details of regional offices:

  • NR3C LAHORE

4th Floor, FIA Building, 1st Temple Road,

Lahore, Punjab.

PHONE +92 42 99203047 – 48

FAX +92 42 37323041

  • NR3C KARACHI

1st Floor, FIA Building (Near Darul Sehat Hospital),

Block 14, Gulistan-e-Johar

Karachi.

PHONE +92 21-99249650

FAX +92 21-99249651

PABAX +92 21-99249652

  • NR3C PESHAWAR

Opposite RMI Hospital, Phase-5,

Hayatabad, Peshawar

PHONE +92 91 9217109

  • NR3C RAWALPINDI

Al-Zahir Plaza, New Iqbal Town,

Express Way, Islamabad.

PHONE +92 51 2612280

  • NR3C QUETTA

NR3C/FIA, Bungalow No. 410/180 near City School Opposite Crescent Public School,

City School Road Jinnah Town

Quetta

PHONE +92 81 2870057

Should I Get my Complaint Registered?

In Pakistan, the assumption with regard to legal processes is that it is time consuming and is not result oriented. However, this is not the case. Since its introduction in 2016, many cases have been registered relating to cybercrimes and the FIA has taken action on almost all cases. Since the verification of the evidence produced, tracking IDs and other related stuff take time, the whole process can take some time. However, the whole process has the court’s involvement to a large extent thus making it absolutely impossible for the culprit to go scot free.

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