The International News reports:
Pakistan is inching closer to promulgating a strong cybercrime law, as a parliamentary committee has received the final draft of the law after a thorough review by legal experts, security agencies, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and a sub-committee of the National Assembly.
The final amended draft, a copy of which is available with The News, maintains strong punishments, including jail terms for unauthorised access to data, cyber stalking, spoofing and spamming, despite criticism from the civil society.
The final draft still allows for seizure of data and equipment by the investigation agencies without prior court permission if the offence is of a serious nature.
Of note, the draft bill exempts certain entities from mandatory data retention:
The businesses which provide free internet to their customers including hotels and coffee shops have been exempted from the condition of storing data of their users.
Under the amended draft, the law will only be applicable on cyber cafes which provide premises from where or facilities through which the public in general may access the Internet “against payment of charges for the same”.
All told, the draft bill identifies 21 offenses that could result in jail time, including:
unauthorised access to data, unauthorised copying or transmission of data, interference with information system or data, unauthorised access to critical infrastructure information system or data, unauthorised copying or transmission of critical infrastructure data, interference with critical infrastructure information system or data, Glorification of an offence and hate speech, Cyber terrorism, Electronic forgery, Electronic fraud, making, obtaining, or supplying device for use in offence, unauthorised use of identity information, unauthroised issuance of SIM cards, tempering etc. of communication equipment, unauthorised interception, offences against dignity of natural person, offences against modesty of a natural person and minor, malicious code, cyber stalking, spamming and spoofing.
Read more on The International News.