Contrary to India and most of the Middle East countries, Pakistan has no access to cyber crimes data, due to absence of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with US where the data reside, obstructing in curbing cyber crimes.
Government officials revealed that unlike Pakistan, countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Indonesia and Malaysia have entered into agreements with the US.
“Even India has signed the MLAT with the US and because of this New Delhi is able to get access to objectionable contents within 24 hours. Pakistan needs to sign the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with the US to remove the objectionable content and will have access to cyber crimes data, officials added.
FIA’s Cyber Crime Reporting Centers to be equipped with Digital Forensic Capabilities
Sources said that due to increasing trend of cyber crime in Pakistan, FIA Cyber Clime Unit (NR3C) has expanded its Cyber crime Reporting Centers from 5 to 15. The strength of Cyber Investigators at Cyber crime Reporting Centers are to be increased to meet the growing challenges and volume of cyber complaints in Pakistan.
All the Cyber crime Reporting Centers are to be equipped with state-of-Art digital forensic capabilities, which will enable to conduct forensic analysis of laptops, computers, mobile, iPad etc.
FIA has proposed amendments to improve Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016, as some clauses are impeding the effective investigation and successful prosecution.
“FIA has neither preventive mandate nor legal monitoring of cyber crimes, but post crime mandate, resulting in obstruction in controlling cyber crimes”, officials added. FIA as of now only has investigation power and cannot initiate an inquiry on its own unless it receives a complaint from an individual and or any organization.
However, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has opposed further amendments in Prevention of Electronic Crime Act 2016 with regard to blocking/ removal of unlawful online content. Official said PTA has informed MoIT in writing that at the moment no further amendments in PECA 2016 with regard to blocking/ removal of unlawful online content are required.
Prevention of Electronic Crime Act was promulgated in 2016; PTA in exercise of its powers conferred under section 37 of PECA 2016 read with sections 16, 17, 20, 21, 22 is taking cognizance over the matters based upon complaints received to PTA.
In addition, PECA Rules are to be devised by Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoIT) under section 37 still in process. More than two years have passed, but the Ministry has yet to formulate rules for PTA, sources added.