August 18, 2018

FIA’s cyber crime wing powerless in the face of limited resources

News Source: Pakistan Today

Writer: Bilal Sabri

ISLAMABAD: Country’s top investigation agency, the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) cyber crime wing has gone powerless owing to the lack of manpower and basic technology, Pakistan Today has learnt. In the modern era, while cybercrime  is the hottest issue and center of attention globally, unfortunately in Pakistan, it is being overlooked.

Speaking to Pakistan Today on the condition of anonymity, an FIA official told that not only was the structure of the FIA office located in the Iqbal Town area of the federal capital in the worst condition ever, but the agency had failed to pay utility bills for the past three months. They said how the cyber crime wing of the FIA was supposed to entertain the complaints of the citizens when the wing’s office neither have a sitting area nor any computers and landline connection.

“Several problems are being faced by the cyber crime wing since other departments were shifted to Sector G-13/3 two months ago. Due to the lack of space there, the very important cyber crime wing hangs in balance,” the official said.

Sources in the FIA told that the agency has failed to address as many as 4800 complaints of cyber crime  owing to the ordeal being faced by the wing. “Within the past three months, the FIA has only been able to conclude 15 cases registered with the cyber crime wing,” they said.

It is pertinent to mention here that the wing has only six investigation officers. And on an average, the residents of the twin cities register over a thousand complaints pertaining to cyber crime with the agency every month.

“After the much-highlighted cybercrime bill was passed, the FIA was given the power to probe any controversial social media accounts and impose fines or imprisonment… and sometimes both, but the federal government has failed to produce the resources including manpower, experts, computer systems, offices, and latest technology that are vital for executing the conferred power,” they said.

Muhammad Rizwan, a complainant told this correspondent that he registered a complaint with the FIA’s cyber crime wing eight months ago, but no development has been made till date.

It was learnt that another 4000 complaints lie pending with the department, as the officials, without any computer, are probing the matters on their mobile phones.

FIA sources told that the 15 cases that were solved within the past three-months too were because of the intelligence agencies’ help.

“Whenever the agency writes to Facebook seeking the details of any account, they resist and mostly do not respond. In only 20 per cent of the cases, they reply us, while Twitter has not replied to agency’s request even a single time,” they added.

“A majority of the complainants we receive, pertain to blackmailing or online frauds, however, in both kinds of cases, the cyber crime wing ends up disappointing the victim,” they said.

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