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Cyber Crime Ordinance Promulgated by the President

UPDATE 2: we can now confirm that the Ordinance is in full effect, infact its been in full force since 31st of December, but it will come up on the National Assembly floor in four months or 120 days.

UPDATE: Some helpful reporters of Dawn News are on the prowl to get full confirmation from the government about this story, the only news report that has appeared is in the Express newspaper today

Pakistan Cyber Crime Bill 2007In a shocking and sudden development yesterday and caught our attention today when it appeared in the newspaper today that the The President of Pakistan has just promulgated the Cyber Crime Bill. I dare to say but this is just a method to crack down on the voice of free expression on the internet akin to the PEMRA ordinance that strangulated the electronic media after Nov 3rd.

I don’t have the exact document but our last understanding of the issue – which was the ‘final draft’ this bill can be considered very dangerous for regular citizens. The bill forms a Tribunal which is in effect judge jury and executioner all encompassing, it allows the FIA full authority to confiscate and arrest anyone who is deemed by the government to be in violation of the ‘integrity of Pakistan’ labeled as a person having terroristic intent – this is a new word created by the Govt of Pakistan for the English Language ;). There maybe some good aspects to the law but when an agency or tribunal supersedes the Justice system one would tend to worry of its widespread potential to misuse.

As per the final draft – an officer can walk into my house confiscate my computer and arrest me, he/she does not have to explain why and neither give reason for the arrest. I shall remain in custody as long as it takes for the tribunal to take collect evidence. And if found guilty by the Tribunal I am punishable from 3-10 years &/or Rs. 5,00,000.

A rough idea about the bill, as the one that was on FINAL DRAFT before all the emergency in Pakistan was, the FIA under orders from a Cyber Crime Tribunal court could accuse anyone of engaging in Terroristic activities and confiscate their computer without reason or explanation, and condemn the person to 3-10 years in prison, and the bill allowed the tribunal to keep the person under question without charge until it prepared the evidence. The onus of proof does not necessary have to come before the arrest. To understand the cyber Crime Bill one could follow the presentation by Zahid Jamil which he made a few months back.

DISCLAIMER: This is my own understanding as per the FINAL DRAFT that was up for approval – though our team of lawyers met the Ministry of IT and voiced their opinions, I am told that they were only heard and we don’t know if it was accepted into the bill. we await a copy and if someone has it please forward along.

Coverage on T2F website as well: E-Crime Bill Roundup

This is the actual news report which appeared today, translation and updates too soon follow

TRANSLATION OF THE NEWS REPORT
(courtesy Tee Emm)

President signs Ordinance to fight Cyber Crime

Accused could be jailed for up to 3 to 10 years and/or fined up to Rs 100,000 to 500,000
IT Tribunal to hear cases under section 193, 228 of Penal Code Pakistan 1960

Islamabad (Sardar Sheeraz Khan) President Pervaiz Mussharaf has promulgated an ordinance to fight cyber crime under which accused could be jailed for up to 3 to 10 years or fined up to Rs 100,000 to 500,000 or both. Under the ordinance promulgated on Monday here, a tribunal with the name of Information and Communication Technologies would be set up to hear case of crimes registered under cyber crimes. The tribunal would work under section 193 and 228 of Pakistan Penal Code 1960. The tribunal would have the status of a court and will work under section 480 and 482 of Pakistan Penal Code. The tribunal would comprise of seven members, headed by a Chairman.

According to the text of the ordinance, accessing any electronic system or electronic devices without permission would legally be a crime. Similarly, accessing, destroying, hacking and sabotaging any criminal data set up by any organization or the government, or committing a fraud using an electronic system or Internet, or making unauthorized changes, or using someone else code or password to access information, or to harass anyone using Internet, or to transmit immoral matter or images, or using electronic system, device or Internet, or to participate in a terrorist or destructive activity are all legally crimes for which imprisonment of 3 to 10 years or a fine of Rs 100,000 to 500,000 or both have been suggested as the punishments. This ordinance will be enforced across the country immediately.

Cyber Crime Bill


  • NAZIA

    Mussarf is trying to behave like god of Pakistan.For the last 11 months his all energy and power are being used to shut up all voices against him.He removed CJP as movement started slogan go mussarf go.Our media has also delivered that messsage as it is now public voice so they are shut down. Voices like Shahid massod, talat hamid mir and Itizaz like dare devils were annoying him so he put them behind scenes.No problem mussarf keep on misusing yours powers but we still say
    GO MUSSARF GO YOURS TIME IS UP NOW…..

  • looks like we are gonna be cell mates doc. :D hehe. no wait they would probably put in solitary confinement for ur views :D

  • fine

  • Hamad

    Musharraf….Son of a BITCH!!!!

  • Silence

    This is a good timing for this ordinance.

    Now, age to be voter is 18 and young generation in Pakistan is going to burry Musharaf with his ordinance.

    But wait a minute, what if polls are rigged!

  • Khan

    well, I am glad to know that there is some law relating to cyber crimes but the tribunal constituted for enforcement of such law, really NEED AN EDUCATED, DEVOTED, AND PROFESSIONAL STAFF MEMBER LIKE ME………BUT SHIT THESE BUREAUCRATS WHO DO NOT LIKE TO APPOINT PEOPLE ON MERITS

    THESE bureaucrats are really SHIT of Pakistan.

  • khan

    But the Cyber crimes tribunal needs professional, educated and wise staff members like but but in Pak, these son of bitch bureaucrats do not let the MERITS prevail……they are fuss of the country.

  • Muhammad Khurram

    It is the duty of the Government to control the Crime. The Government now promulgate the Cyber Crime Ordinance, 2007. The Ordinance is helpful against the Criminals who create the problems for the IT Professionals and well as against those persons who send un-natural and bad SMS to others.

    Specially ladies are facing the problems of SMS – This Ordinance will effect positively and Cyber Crime will be in control.

    The Reason to establish a Tribunal is to provide a full opportunity to Criminals to defend the Case. If accused is innocent, he is a chance in the Court to establish with evidence that he is Innocent.

    Critism without reading of the Ordinance and without knowledge of the Law is not good. Every person come on the net and writes which he think.

    I think that the person who are effected with the cyber crime, will always encourage this effort of Government, because now a legal remedy is available to all Pakistanis to take legal action against the Cyber Criminals.

    thanks

    Muhammad Khurram
    General Manager
    Muneeb Book House
    1-Turner Road,
    Lahore

  • Wasiullah

    Any Law being enforced in any country should be critized in sense of its wording and its essence. But the most important is, in my view, is not the promolgation but the executaion of law. unfortunately all the good laws in pakistan was badly executed. I think the Controlling of Cybre Crimes is an important step but my request to law enforcing agencies and judicairy is to act in best possible way to execute this law. And this law shall not be used to harras the innocents and opposition parties and all kind of media

    Thanks & Regards

    Wasiullah
    Principal
    Unicom College of Business Studies,
    Rustam, Mardan

  • Muhammad Khurram

    The comments from Wasiullah, Principal, Unicom College of Business Studies, Rustam, Mardan, are very valuable. It is right that the implimentation of law is very necessary. As it is a general Principle of law that Conviction must be based on sold and reliable and reasonable evidence.

    If a person is convicted, there must be a evidence. The establishment of the Cyber Tribunal means a Remedy for both sides to establish their claims.

    Lastly, I think that by promulgation of this Ordinance, nobody can be harrassed because If you send un-moral e-mail or SMS to others, that message have the source of coming – So sender is liable to reply, why un-moral message is come from his mobile phone etc.

    in Pakistan, children sends messages without the knowledge of their parents, and when a complaint has lodged, the owner refused that he sends SMS etc.

    So, the control of the equipment is also necessary – otherwise litigation will create the problem for those who have the equipment but they dont have the control on it.

    Thanks

    Muhammad Khurram

  • iqbal ahmed

    thats good news cyber crime can be stoped now after this bill

  • adeel

    It is not good.uneducated people make it.

  • This Really Sucks….Mr. Mush just putting the rules whatever coming strainght from US…..I think they even did’nt read that rule before implementing…Peoplee are also calm and sleeping….
    :(
    -Ahmad

  • zohaib imran advocate

    hi
    good day from pakistan

    good enforcement of law but although delayed by extraneous circumstances. its quiet normal when usually democracy is derailed often. promulgation does not mean automatic enforcement as such. it has to be taken in its most liberal although literal sense. how could in pakistan enforcement as such is possible where the concerned agencies are not in possession of requisite equipments, arrangements to curb the grievances of cyber affectees. many years have past since the introduction of cyber technology in pakistan but still we are not sure how to implement the enforced cyber laws. it will require many amendments, as the punjab local government ordinance forced the law maker as such
    invocation of law without prior worksheet on the basic requirement and theme needed will render the newly enforced law as redundant one surely

    hope legislators will consider
    zohaib imran
    advocate
    lahore

  • Sadia Khan

    There is no prescribed definition of cyber crimes. And its is not at all easy to understand the cybercrime ordinance. For example, just look at Section 12, Malicious Code. i.e computer viruses etc. What can any Lawyer/ Judge interpret from this. If they read Handbook of Malicious code issued by NIMIS thats explians Section 12 of the Ordinace, they will know that this is something they are not aware at all.

    Download the guide from http://www.nimis.org/

    or email at [email protected]

  • This is totally wrong action. they don't know how much power in IT, how they can manage it.

    this law is totally wrong. dhoka he sab.

    Good Bless Pakistan

  • aoa,

    law does not become redundant or obsolete by mere lapse of time, it caters the circumstances required for its own enforcement, i dont think that IT is such a difficult legal field which cannot be countenanced by the operation of cyber laws in pakistan.

  • AyazKhan

    This is a good timing for this ordinance.