It will become law from next week: Anusha

-File photo -File Photo

Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rehman has said that the amended “Electronic Crime Bill 2016” will be made a law next week to affectively deal with cyber crimes in the country.

“The amended Bill will be presented before the National Assembly on August 1 (Monday) and we expect an easy sail for it to become a law,” Anusha Rehman told Business Recorder here on Friday.

After passing the Bill from the Senate, it would be sent back to the National Assembly as amendments are being made in the Bill.

The Bill would come into law, after passing it from the Lower House. However, the minister refuted the Opposition claim of brining 50 amendments in the Electronic Crime Bill and said those were not more than 18 amendments.

Those were slight amendments/changes which would not affect the basic purpose of the Bill, said the minister.

She also criticised Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Chairman Pakistan Peoples’ Party, for his objections on the Bill at the eleventh hour while saying that the Party had nominated Senator Farhatullah Baber who gave a significant input in the Bill.

She said a meeting with the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate of Pakistan Aitzaz Ahsan was held before presenting the Bill in the House, where the later raised concerns about the repercussions of the proposed law on electronic media, but he was told that electronic media did not fall in the ambit of Cyber Crime Bill.

The minister said the proposed law would help in reducing women harassment. “Women living in rural areas some times fall pray through internet/social media/computer and get victimise, and this law would help in reducing such crimes,” the minister added.

IT Minister said that internet was the engine of economic growth in the modern world and any country could not afford to block it every time; however there was need of such legislation to resolve the issue permanently.
Currently Pakistan has no law to comprehensively deal with the growing threat of cyber crime.

Telecommunication laws had no such provision to deal with traditional offline crime, said the minister, adding that effectively addressing those unique and unprecedented crimes with similarly unique and necessary procedural powers required a completely new and comprehensive legal framework that focuses on online conduct of individuals/organisations in the virtual world.

She further said the legislation would cover offences including illegal access of data (hacking), as well as interference with data and information systems, specialised cyber related electronic forgery and electronic fraud, cyber terrorism (electronic or cyber attack on the critical information infrastructure), unauthorised interception conducted by civilians, use of malicious code viruses, identity theft etc. -Business Recorder