Pakistan: Cyber-terrorism will be punishable by death

* President promulgates Cyber Crimes Ord
* Death penalty limited to crime that causes death
* Criminal access to data, e-fraud, cyber-stalking, spamming made punishable offences

By Tahir Niaz

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari promulgated the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Ordinance on Thursday, making cyber-terrorism punishable with death or imprisonment for life.

The penalty is limited to an offence that ‘causes death of any person’, according to the ordinance that will be considered effective from September 29.

“Whoever commits the offence of cyber terrorism and causes death of any person shall be punishable with death or imprisonment for life, and with fine,” the new law states. In other cases, “he shall be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, or with fine not less than Rs 10 million, or with both”.

“Any person, group or organisation who, with terroristic intent, utilises, accesses or causes to be accessed a computer or computer network or electronic system or electronic device or by any available means, and thereby knowingly engages in or attempts to engage in a terroristic act commits the offence of cyber terrorism.”

‘Terroristic intent’ has been defined as: “To act with the purpose to alarm, frighten, disrupt, harm, damage, or carry out an act of violence against any segment of the population, the government or entity associated therewith”.

“Aiding the commission of or attempting to aid the commission of an act of violence against the sovereignty of Pakistan, whether or not the commission of such act of violence is actually completed; or stealing or copying, or attempting to steal or copy, or secure classified information or data necessary to manufacture any form of chemical, biological or nuclear weapon, or any other weapon of mass destruction also includes cyber terrorism,” states the ordinance.

Fraud, stalking, spamming: Criminal access to an electronic system will be punishable with up to two years in prison and a Rs 300,000 fine, according to the ordinance. Criminal data or system damage is punishable with up to three years.

Electronic fraud will be punishable with up to seven years of imprisonment and/or fine, ‘misuse’ of electronic systems with up to three years, unauthorised access to code with up to three years, and producing malicious code with up to five years.

Cyber stalking is punishable with up to seven years in prison and a Rs 100,000 fine, and up to 10 years if the victim is a minor.

Spamming will be punishable with up to a Rs 50,000 fine for the first offence, and three months in prison for subsequent offences.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008\11\07\story_7-11-2008_pg1_8

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