I personally believe this is the very reason that the IT community was up in arms in 2007 when the initial Cyber Crime Bill was drafted, it contained abundant loop holes which gave sweeping powers to the Cyber Crime Tribunal and the FIA to arrest and detain the offender without even presenting a proper evidence and proof. Now we must be watchful of the statements issued by Rehman Malik it does seem that all Anti-Govt emailers, SMS’ers and website are doomed. They choose to silence the offending voice rather then changing their own corrupt ways which are leading our country down towards doom and destruction – maybe now we could start labeling them as a democratically elected dictatorship.
Many may recall when a few weeks back the newly elected government had quietly put into effect the Cyber Crime Law without taking into confidence either the IT industry or for that matter putting it up before the parliament for a proper debate before making it a fully implemented law. The Cyber Crime Law was the same old unedited document which had initially been prepared by the Ministry of IT back in October 2007, in the eagerness to implement the cyber law they ignored all suggestions that had been requested by the IT industry after the October draft was made public. Since then much has happened, once Musharraf promulgated the law in the early part of 2008 which lapsed after ninety days and more recently Mr. Asif Ali Zardari also pushed the law into effect.
The repeated attempts by the government to sneak a very important law has created a significant amount of mistrust between the civil society and the government, but despite all the negativity we as civil society cyber activists were genuinely pleased to welcome the initiative by the MoITT to have an open door meeting in preparation for drafting an ICT Policy for Pakistan and it resulted in a genuine participation by a large delegation of stake holders within the IT Industry ranging from public & private entities and even significant players from within the civil society to join forces and work towards a mutually acceptable futuristic looking ICT Policy for Pakistan.
With continued military tension across the border between India and Pakistan, it was imminent that Cyber activists might soon embroil themselves into a mini cyber war. It may have started off a few days back when an Indian group called HMG defaced Pakistan Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority, in response a few Pakistani calling themselves the Pakistan Cyber Army responded with a defacement of the Indian Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority. Though all this may be entirely illegal, so I hope that our friends understand the limitations and keep it on a friendly level. Story being extensive followed on ProPakistani.com
One now just has to figure out which version of the law has been introduced, are we simply being served up with the old draconian draft or a revised version which was extensively hashed out by Jehan Ara, P@SHA President and Cyber Crimes specialist Barrister Zahid Jamil, when they met with the ministry in October 2007 to smooth out the kinks. A cursory glance at the news report as published in Daily Times one feels that it may actually be the old draft with absolutely no revisions to protect and safe guard the rights of the innocent digital savvy surfer.
It all started in September 2007 when we initially discussed the Draconian Cyber Crime Law in Pakistan which lead to an awareness campaign Understanding the E-Crime Bill. In early January 2008 the then President General Pervaiz Musharraf promulgated the Cyber Crime Ordinance but it lapsed after a period of 120 days which was also extensively questioned by Reporters Without Borders