Besides pedagogical purposes cyber world is highly exploited for the promotion of cybercrimes. Cybercrime is done inter alia with the help of phishing, hacking and diffusion of malicious viruses. Cyber pornography, identity theft and sale of illegal articles have been institutionalised with the speedy progress of cybernation. Worse cases involve transaction fraud, piracy, plagiarism and blackmailing- where a man would blackmail his girlfriend by making an erroneous account or uploading her private photographs on public websites.

Even the newly introduced internet banking system in Pakistan is at high risk. Account holders can lose their money to hackers and criminals sitting offshore somewhere where there are no cyber law enforcing agencies. The scammers are quite instrumental in harnessing the advantage of anonymity-provided by the internet-and defraud the unwitting denizens. Cyber threat is not only confined intra-regionally but also spread inter-regionally. The implications of ‘cyber terrorism’ are quite terrible, particularly if they fell into the hands of terrorist outfits because this would automatically give them enormous political leverage.

Gravity of the situation can be gauged from the fact that state-sponsored espionage battles are fought via cyberworld. Not surprisingly, National Cyber Security Policy in India has been working since 2013. Sadly, Pakistan is devoid of such robust policies. On December 31, 2007, the former president Pervez Musharraf enacted a law called The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Ordinance (PECO) 2007. The law has been criticized on many grounds. Currently, Cyber Crime Bill is under discussion in the Senate.

Sooner, it is expected to take a form of law. It seems that the incumbent government is determined to address the rising problems of cyberthreat in a proactive rather than reactive fashion. For the proper promulgation of law, all stakeholders should be reciprocated duly to ensure their sincere participation.

MASOOD AHMED SHAIKH, Hyderabad, March 24.