October 18, 2018

PECA Implementation: Inter Ministerial Committee finalises PECA rules, soon to be sent to Cabinet for approval

ISLAMABAD: Rules for the implementation of Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act, PECA, have been finalized, by a specially formed Inter-Minsterial Committee, IMC.

According to sources at Ministry of Information Technology, MoIT, the IMC has finalized the rules in consultation with relevant government agencies.

The  IMC is headed by Law Minister and includes representatives of different government ministries including Ministry of Law, Interior, IT, PTA, FIA and security agencies. According to a senior official at MoIT the ministry was given sixty days by the IMC to frame these rules. The rules would soon be sent to Cabinet for approval.

According to sources within the MOiT, a special wing within Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, PTA, would be designated to take complaints through a specialized online portal. The wing would be receiving complaints from both public and government agencies.  Once a complaint is received, PTA would reach out to relevant government agencies for consultation and take action against the report content accordingly.

It was also learnt that real time collection of information under PECA, would be done with assistance from intelligence agencies.

“There will be a proper notification in which the agency would be notified,” a government official revealed. Earlier, media reports had quoted a government official who said that the government had accepted ISI’s proposal of taking action “against those allegedly committing online crimes against the state and undermining the national security”.

However, officials at the MOiT remain adamant that the role of security agencies in the implementation of PECA would remain minimal.

Written by

Talal Raza is a Program Manager at Media Matters for Democracy. He has worked with renowned media organizations and NGOs including Geo News, The Nation, United States Institute of Peace and Privacy International.

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