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Pakistan: Death Sentence for Cyber Crimes

(Apr. 2, 2008) The death sentence may be awarded under Pakistan's new Cyber Crimes Ordinance, 2007, which took effect on December 31, 2007. Crimes set forth in the Ordinance include serious cyber crimes, such as damaging nuclear assets by hacking; cyber terrorism; and swindling and commission of other offenses through cellular phones. A cyber crimes wing of the Federal Investigative Agency will register cases, hold investigations, and prosecute cases.

A seven-member tribunal will be set up to hear cases of cyber crimes. Criminals involved in such crimes can also be extradited to any country with which Pakistan has a mutual extradition treaty. The tribunal will hear cases on the gaining of unlawful access to another computer or to computer data; the infliction of damage on or hacking of data; the infliction of damage on a computer system; acts of online swindling and the drawing of money through ATM cards by using the codes of other persons' cards, etc. The Ordinance provides for 18 different types of cyber crime in all for which cases may be registered. The Ordinance also prescribes minimum deterrent punishments. The sentence upon conviction of tampering with computer information and records is a seven-year term and a fine.

An individual or a group that harasses others by sending messages or sends obscene and immoral messages will also be punishable under the new Ordinance. (Pakistan Promulgates Ordinance on Cyber Crimes, Hacking Systems of Nukes, Jets, RAWALPINDI JANG, Jan. 8, 2008, Open Source No. SAP2008112100005.)