October 20, 2018

Senate committee to assess effectiveness of cybercrime laws

News Source: Daily Times

ISLAMABAD: A legislative body on Friday decided to call FIA, PTA, Ministry of IT, Ministry of Law and NADRA in the next meeting to discuss the application of cybercrime laws and to see how effective this initiative has been in countering cyber terrorism, social media crime and the cybercrime.

The decision was taken during a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunications, which was held at Parliament House with Senator Rubina Khalid in the chair.

Other senators who attended the meeting were Rukhsana Zuberi, Mian Ateeq Sheikh, Ghous Niazi, Abdur Rehman Malik, Ashok Kumar and Fida Muhammad.

The committee was given an inaugural briefing about the role, mandate, functions, recent assignments, projects and achievements and an overview of the IT and telecommunications sector. The meeting was told that Pakistan at present has 59.94 million broadband subscribers and the telecommunication sector’s revenue amounts to around $ 4 billion. The country has a total of 91,549 kilometres of optic fibre length. While briefing about the IT sector, it was told that estimated exports of the sector are currently at $ 3.3 billion and the country has 1600 registered IT companies. The country produces an average of 20,000 IT graduates and engineers annually and IT and IT-enabled services amount to $ 2.8 billion.

The committee also deliberated upon the hitches in the PTCL agreement between Pakistan and UAE governments, high taxation on mobile cards, project of IT parks, digital Pakistan policy, e-commerce project, biometric verification of SIMs, telecommunication policy and online consumers rights. The meeting will take up all these matters in detail in the upcoming meetings along with the issue of fake IDs on social media and international roaming of Afghan telecommunication services near border areas.

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