The Standing Committee of Senate on Information Technology and Telecommunication unanimously passed the amended “Electronic Crime Bill 2016” on Tuesday. The bill is passed by with the consensus of stakeholders including IT Ministry, opposition parties, media, investigation agencies, civil societies, and NGOs. The necessary amendments are made in the bill, and now it will be sent back to the National Assembly to pass it as a law.
Some of the main highlights related to the amended bill are as follows.
- Children under ten years of age have immunity, and the proposed law is not applicable to them.
- The legislation also applies to any act committed outside Pakistan by any person, if the act is offensive under this law and affects any person, property, or data here in Pakistan.
- The amended proposed law is not applicable in the case where the offensive act is committed by a license of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). Such act shall be treated under the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act, 1996. The amended bill provides protection to the data as an investigation agency will get the court permission to access or seize the data.
- Regarding the international co-operation from another country, the bill says that a court should be approached for permission before releasing the information to another country.
- The federal government in such case, will be required to ask the foreign agencies to keep the information confidential.
- The bill deals the child pornography in a separate section and the person involved in such crime will get a punishment of up to seven years imprisonment or a fine extendable to five million rupees, or he can get both the punishments.
- According to the amended bill, PTA is not allowed to block a website unless it is reported to it.
- Amendments are made to the section-15 of the bill relating to the “unauthorized issuance of the SIM cards,” stating a punishment of imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or a fine which can extend to hundred thousand rupees or both.
- The parliamentary panel amended the section related to spamming by making amendments to the section-3 and adding section-4 to it.
- According to the sections, the person committing the offense of spamming shall be punished for the first time, with fine not exceeding fifty thousand rupees but for every subsequent offense, the fine shall be extended to one million rupees along with imprisonment for a term of up to three months.
The standing committee on IT and Telecommunication met Shahi Syed in the chair here on Tuesday, and they congratulated each other on the smooth passing of the Cyber Crime Bill.
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