On a pleasant weekend when most of the students had left for home and the rest were about to leave the university campus, some girls saw the body of a student hanging from ceiling fan of her hostel room. The spontaneous shouts and screams of these girls at the sight of this scene made the management of the hostel to rush to the scene. The management immediately called the police to the scene and the police started investigation into the incident. Given the outdated system of police investigation, such cases often remain unsolved and investigation agencies fail to find their way to culprits. However, the investigation in the aforementioned case turned out to be a different story. The investigation showed that the girl was blackmailed by someone through her photos and videos and this very act forced this master’s student to commit suicide.

There is no denying the fact that information technology has overwhelmed the society. The internet use is increasing rapidly. Global village is not an academic phenomenon any more. The internet has made people’s lives easier and at the same time created a lot of problems for people. Cybercrime is one of these problems. Almost every country in the world has been affected by cybercrime and Pakistan is no exception. A cybercrime is a criminal offence committed through the internet or any other form of technology. For example, use of social media to abuse others or use of smart phones to send or receive sexually explicit content fall in the category of cybercrime.

Cybercrime rate in Pakistan is increasing day by day. The information technology, which was meant to make people’s lives easier, is being misused more than it is being used. Not every person using the internet through a computer, smart phone or any other gadget is aware of cybercrime and such people are trapped easily. Cybercrimes undoubtedly are the biggest threat to people all over the world. Almost all countries, including developing African countries, are facing these threats. Pakistan is also facing this problem; its departments and individuals are not safe from these crimes. In 2016, The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act was passed by the National Assembly to control such crimes. Under this law, unauthorised issuance of SIM cards shall be punished with imprisonment up to three years and fine up to Rs500,000 or both. Making videos/pictures of an individual and distributing them without his/her consent is punishable with imprisonment up to three years or fine up to one million or both. Individuals, organizations and public at large are target of cybercriminals.

Law enforcement agencies in Pakistan are trying to solve this problem, but in vain. They need people’s help to fight this menace. If there is any case related to cybercrime, it must be reported and investigated and the culprits must be punished.

The writer is a law student.