The world is witnessing a digital revolution, made manifest by the arrival of 5G and 6G technology. In a matter of seconds, News from one part of the globe may be received in another.
The News reported in 2021 that cybercrime in Pakistan had increased by 83% during the previous three years. DAWN further noted that over 102,000 reports of cybercrime were submitted to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
Therefore, authorities in Pakistan have started taking the necessary measures to ensure the internet safety of citizens and their information. The more the population’s reliance on internet services, the more at risk they are of being victims of cybercrime.
In this article, we’ll take a look at cybercrime legislation in Pakistan and the various forms it might take. We’ll also get an in-depth look at how cybercrime punishment in Pakistan (Computer Network and Information Security).
The Nature of Cybercrime
Cybercrime law in Pakistan, as depicted in an infographic highlighting the various forms as examples:
- A type of computer crime known as “hacking” occurs when an intruder gains unauthorized access to a target’s computer system.
- Intentional use of another person’s identity is called identity theft.
- To harass and bully someone through the internet is known as cyberbullying or online bullying.
- Cyberstalking is keeping tabs on or harassing someone over the internet. Defamation, slander, and false accusations are all in play here.
- Spoofing is a method of hacking in which hackers deceive computer systems to obtain an advantage or steal data from online groups or services.
- When people use the internet to commit financial fraud, they steal money or other valuables from their victims.
- The illegal downloading and distribution of digital copyrighted content are known as digital piracy or online piracy.
- Malicious software that infects computers and propagates to other machines typically replicates itself.
- Malware, or malicious software, is designed by cybercriminals to disrupt, steal information from, or otherwise impair a computer system.
- Internet-based theft of proprietary information is known as intellectual property theft.
- To launder money, criminals often use the internet and its many payment options to make illicit transactions.
- One type of cyberattack is known as a denial of service (DOS) attack, and its goal is to overwhelm the targeted server with requests. It stops the right people from using a computer system.
- The use of electronic means, sometimes known as cyber, to commit violent acts is a form of terrorism. To do so is to put someone in harm’s way or to advance one’s own ideological or political agenda.
- The destruction and harming of someone else’s internet content are known as “vandalism.” It might also indicate that unauthorized changes are made to the online content of your website.
Cybercrime Punishment in Pakistan
The individual responsible for a cyber-crime should face the consequences listed in the following sections of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act of 2016:
1. Stalker Behavior in the Digital Realm
Anyone found guilty of this offense faces up to three years in jail, a fine of up to one million rupees, or both. In the case of a juvenile, the maximum penalties increase to five years in prison and a fine of up to 10 million rupees.
2. Meddling With Data
In Pakistani law, this is referred to as “electronic forgery.” cybercrime punishment in Pakistan
For meddling with data are up to three years in prison and a fine of up to two hundred and fifty thousand rupees (or both) for a first offense and up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to five million rupees (or both) for a second or subsequent offense involving critical infrastructure.
3. Contempt Of Court for Libel
Anyone who knowingly and openly publishes or transmits false information through any information system intending to injure the reputation or privacy of a natural person is subject to a fine of up to one million rupees or imprisonment for a term not to exceed three years or both.
A person or business can face a fine of up to Rs. 50,000 and up to three months in prison if they are found guilty of the following:
- Send an unwanted email or text message (spam) to someone
- Send bulk emails without the ability to unsubscribe
- Utilize dangerous fake email
- Sending false or illegal information through email.
Cybercrime punishment in Pakistan for spoofing is up to three years and/or a fine of up to Rs. 500,000. Spoofing occurs when someone creates a website or distributes material using a fake source they want the receiver, or website visitor to believe is the real deal.
6. Loss of Confidentiality Due to Unauthorized Access to Data
Intentional unauthorized access to a computer system or database carries a maximum penalty of three months in prison and a fine of up to Rs. 50,000 (about $700).
7. Data Duplication or Sharing Without Permission
Anyone who knowingly and dishonestly communicates or causes to be transmitted any data without authority faces up to six months in jail and a fine of up to 100,000 Indian Rupees, or both.
Complaints against cyberbullying are often filed with the FIA’s NR3C. (National Response Centre for Cyber Crime). The DRF’s nationwide complaint hotline is (0800-13518), but you may also reach them there. Victims in the Punjab Province who wish to file a complaint may call the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women’s hotline (1043). (PCSW).
Because cyberstalking, online harassment, and other forms of online violation of personal privacy are all torts, victims who feel it necessary may also choose to pursue legal action against their aggressors.
An instance of National Response to Cybercrime
Under the direction of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Pakistan has set up a “National Response Centre for Cybercrime” (NR3C) to investigate and track down those responsible for cybercrime, as well as to put a halt to the misuse of the internet(Cyber-Security and Digital Forensics).
Digital forensics, information system security audits, technical inquiry, penetration testing, and related training are all areas in which NR3C excels. Since its commencement, it has been dedicated to strengthening the capabilities of the judicial system, the legal profession, and other government entities. This organization must be more watchful in its efforts to identify these crimes.
Several obstacles must be addressed before cybercrimes may be effectively combated; thus, education and public awareness are crucial for preventing cybercrimes. Because most people aren’t aware of cybercrime’s prevalence, we’re all at risk. Because of the complexity involved, not even law enforcement is aware of these offenses.