Govt declares jurisdictions of cybercrime reporting centres across country

News Source: Pakistan Today

Writer: Shah Nawaz Mohal

ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Interior on Tuesday notified the jurisdictions of Cybercrime Reporting Centres across the country, where complaints pertaining to Prevention of Cybercrime Act 2016, can be registered.

As per the details, the centres, that are empowered to investigate the matters, include the Islamabad Cybercrime Reporting Center with the Islamabad Capital Territory as its jurisdiction, the Rawalpindi Reporting Centre with its jurisdiction extended to Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Chakwal and Attock as well as the Gujranwala Reporting Centre, the jurisdiction of which will extend to Gujranwala, Gujarat, Hafizabad Mandi Bahauddin, Narowal and Sialkot.

The centre in Lahore, besides the provincial capital, will deal with Kasur, Nankana Sahib, Sheikhupura, Sahiwal, Okara and Pakpattan; Faisalabad Reporting Centre will have its jurisdiction extended to Faisalabad, Chiniot, Jhang, Toba Tek Singh, Sargodha, Khushab, Bhakkar and Mianwali while the Multan Cybercrime Reporting Centre will have its jurisdiction over Vehari, Khanewal, Lodhran, DG Khan, Layyah, Muzzafargarh, Rajanpur, Bahawalpur, and other southern Punjab districts.

The DI Khan Centre has been given jurisdiction over DI Khan, Tank, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Kohat, Hangu and Karak. Cybercrime Reporting Center Karachi will have jurisdiction over Karachi East, West, South, Central, Malik and Korangi while the reporting centres in Sukkur and Hyderabad will have jurisdictions over cities around the two divisional headquarters.

Quetta and Gwadar Cybercrime Reporting Centres will have jurisdiction over Chaghi Hills, Saifullah, Loralai, Mishakel, Sherabi, Sibi, Dera Bugti among other districts while the Gilgit Cybercrime Reporting Centre’s jurisdiction will extend to Gilgit, Hunza, Ghizer, Shigar, Astore and Diamar.

It is pertinent to mention here that ever since the law came into force, the government has failed to implement it. Under the law, ‘obscene’ or ‘immoral’ messages on social media platforms have been made offences without defining obscenity or immorality; thus, giving sweeping powers to investigating agencies to implicate anyone on these charges.

The law is being violated as content like pornography, blasphemous posts, and sectarian hate speech is available on social media till date.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is the competent authority and bound to arrest the violators. With demarcation of Cybercrime Reporting Centres, it is expected that the agency will enhance its efforts for implementation of the law.

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