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National Assembly body to restructure Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill

A parliamentary panel on Wednesday said that the proposed "Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill" to deal with cyber crimes has some flaws; hence they agreed to restructure the proposed law.

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication (IT&T) which met with Captain Mohammad Safdar (Retd) in the chair viewed that the proposed "Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill" drafted 14 months ago whereas; the present scenario is quite different 'especially after the National Action Plan as certain amendments are required according to the situation.

To avoid overlapping and redundancy with the existing laws, the Committee after taking legal & technical opinion of the experts, unanimously agreed to restructure the "Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill' before further discussion. The Committee constituted a special committee pertaining to legal and technical experts and four parliamentarians from the IT Standing Committee to co-ordinate with Ministry of Information Technology for restructuring the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill.

The Ministry had introduced the "Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill" in the last committee meeting where a maximum punishment of fourteen years imprisonment with fine of Rs 50 million for "Cyber terrorism" has been proposed. However, the proposed law would deal only with electronic crimes and not terrorism, as explained by the ministry officials. According to the proposed bill, it will deal with illegal access to information system, illegal access to program or data, illegal interference with programme or data, illegal interference with information system, Cyber terrorism, Electronic forgery, Electronic fraud, identity crime and special protection of women amongst many other things.

The committee had also backed the idea of the Ministry to establish ICT courts in the country in its last meeting to look into cases related to Cyber and Electronic crimes despite the strong reservations of other stakeholders. The Committee also raised the issue of grey trafficking, its bad affect on government exchequer, and menace to the lives of masses and observed that the ministry may take stringent measures to curb such mafias.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015