The top intelligence agency has obtained draft of the Cyber Crime Bill


A top intelligence agency has acquired draft of much-awaited Cyber Crime Bill prepared by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication to review and ensure that cyber space of nuclear armed Pakistan is fully secure and protected against potential terrorist threats, the sources told The News.

“The top intelligence agency has obtained draft of the Cyber Crime Bill that has been vetted by the Law Ministry and its technical experts have started reviewing it keeping in view growing cyber threats. Initially, they have raised some objections that would be removed by introducing some new clauses in the draft of the bill,” the sources said.

The sources claimed that the government was officially warned by various quarters in the recent past on the basis of the revelations made by whistle blower Edward Snowden that US National Security Agency (NSA) may penetrate into Pakistani cyber space to steal sensitive data relating to Pakistan, its domestic politics, strategic and economic interests and its nuclear programme, by sneaking into computer networks of Internet Service Providers such as email, video-sharing, voice-over-IPs, chats and social networking websites.

The sources said the revision of the draft bill would increase its clauses up to 50 in which three other areas would also be addressed including powers of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), judicial mechanism to probe cases and introduction of intermediary liability production. With the advent of the Internet and its widespread usage – the cyber warfare is now the most modern form of battleground for which special military units are on the roll in various militaries around the world.

The sources said draft of the bill was sent to the federal ministries, civil society organisations, international telecom organisation and technical exerts that gave their suggestions to make it a better document to cope with the growing challenges in the field of cyberspace technology. An official said the Gilani-led government had also prepared a draft of Cyber Crime Bill but it hit snags at its initial stages and plan to get it passed by Parliament was shelved due to various reasons.

“We also reviewed the draft prepared by the PPP-led government but our technical experts opined that in that draft The FIA was given extra and unnecessary powers so we avoided doing so in newly prepared draft,” he said.

He said the cyber security agenda revolves around five main strategic goals including legal measures, technical and procedural steps, organisational structures, capacity building and international cooperation.

Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rehman Khan told The News that draft of the Cyber Crime Bill has been vetted by the Law Ministry and other security institutions are also reviewing its contents.

“The bill would cater to the needs of each and every institution of Pakistan and would better help face growing challenges in the field of cyber world,” she said.

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