With the increased digitalization in today’s world, where every data and personal information is available online, Cyber crimes have become a growing concern. As the general public grows concerned over such exploitation and misuse of information, they should be aware that the Federal Investigation Agency, through its Cyber crimes Wing, caters to all violations and cybercrimes performed by criminals.
What Crimes are catered by the Cyber crimes Wing of the Federal Investigation Agency?
If you have been a victim of or a witness to any of the following crimes, you can file a complaint with the Cyber crimes wing of FIA and they will conduct an inquiry and will look into the matter:
- Cyber Financial Frauds: Cyber crimes financial frauds are online frauds/schemes conducted by criminals for financial gains by making illegal use of the personal information of others and using such information for digital transactions and moving around money and finances.
- Hacking: hacking is the unauthorized access made by a person into another’s computer system or digital device with the intention of stealing, corrupting, or illegitimately viewing their data to make personal gains.
- Cyber bullying/harassment: Cyber crimes bullying and Cyber crimes harassment take place when a person makes use of the Internet to threaten, pressurize, blackmail, or make unwanted advances toward another person. Such harassment or bullying can cause extreme damage to the victim, which can be physical, emotional, and psychological. Women are often a target of such crimes, and younger girls or children are particularly vulnerable.
- Cyber stalking: Cyber crimes stalking is an extension of cyber-bullying and takes place when a person continuously follows or contacts another via e-mails, text messages, social media posts, and is commenting on the victim’s profile, sending explicit content, making unwarranted use of their pictures, making fake accounts to contact them, sending threatening, lewd or rude comments, or any other similar acts which the victim has asked to not be done by the criminal.
- Child pornography: the online web and dark web see countless cases of children and underaged persons falling victim to child predators and pedophiles who take unfair advantage of such children and make pornographic pictures and videos for financial benefits by uploading them on the internet. This is a serious crime, of which the FIA takes serious notice.
- Data theft: Data theft is a form of Cyber crimes that takes place when any computer-based information is stolen from a person or firm unaware of such data sharing. Data theft is usually done with the intention of compromising the privacy of the victim or attaining some confidential information. Data theft has become a common issue for all in this digitalized world: individual computer users, as well as large corporations. Readers are requested to be aware and take the following steps to secure their data:
- E-commerce: make sure that personal data is safe while buying products online.
- Password cracking: have strong passwords which are more difficult to crack.
- Laptop/phone theft: laptops and phones usually contain all personal and sensitive information; hence it is important to have strong passwords and encryption coding to ensure the data is kept safe.
- Identity theft: A criminal conducts identity theft by maliciously getting hold of another person’s personal and sensitive information through emails, stored and saved information in any online databases, phone passwords, overhearing conversations or eavesdropping, and making use of such information to take over that person’s identity. Through identity theft, the criminal commits frauds, scams or other acts of illegal financial gains. Identity theft includes, but is not limited to:
- shoulder surfing
- dumpster diving
- phishing, and
- Intellectual property rights and protections: Intellectual property rights are violated when a criminal acts in a manner that violates a person’s or company’s IP right and provides illegal access to a patent, trade secrets, confidential information, customer data, or sales trends.
- Denial of service attack: A Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack, also known as a bandwidth consumption attack or a network saturation attack is achieved when attackers send protocol packets to a network they wish to harm or negatively impact the performance of a computer or a program.
How can a complaint be filed with the FIA?
The FIA website provides a Complaint Registration Form, which requires the following information from those who are victims of Cyber crimes, or wish to report one:
- Personal Information:
- Full name
- CNIC number
- Contact number
- Email Address
- Complaint/crime details
The form is available online at: https://www.fia.gov.pk/complaint. Complaints can also be made via the Cyber crimes Wing helpline: 111-345-786.
What Law in Pakistan Deals with Cyber crimes?
Currently, the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 (“Act”) deals with all of the above-listed Cyber crimes and provides details on the acts as well as the penalties which will be levied on the criminals for their crimes. The Act is applicable to all citizens of Pakistan, and deals with:
- access or interference with data or information systems,
- copying or transmission of data,
- unauthorized access, unauthorized copying, unauthorized transmitting, or unauthorized interfering with the critical infrastructure,
- hate speech,
- the motivation of people to fund or recruits for terrorism,
- electronic forgery and electronic fraud,
- an act to manufacture, generate, adapt, export, supply, offer to supply, or import any information system,
- identity theft,
- issuance of SIM,
- harming the dignity of a natural person,
- harming modesty of a natural person,
- child pornography,
- writing, offering, making available, distributing or transmitting malicious code,
- cyber Stalking,
A more detailed blog on the Act will soon be published on our website.
For further details, discussions, or action plans, the team of lawyers at KLA offers assistance in all matters related to Cyber crimes. Our wide range of cybersecurity practice areas is available at: https://localhost/testsite/practice/cyber-security-information-protection/
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About writer: Mr. Khawaja is an International Tech Lawyer based in Düsseldorf Germany and managing partner of KLA Germany. He is known for providing robust solution with pragmatic approch on topics related to IT law, GDPR, IP, Startups, Investment and International Trade.