Islamabad, October 16, 2018 (PPI-OT): Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication in its meeting has asked Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to come up with proposed amendment regarding an effective monitoring and investigation mechanism under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA), 2016 within a week. The Committee after detailed discussion came down to the conclusion that monitoring of cyber content should be in domain of FIA instead of PTA so that it can monitor the content and then start inquiries and investigation without any loss of time in getting complaints from PTA or other sources.
The meeting was held here at the Parliament House on Tuesday with Senator Rubina Khalid in the chair and was attended among others by Senators Dr. Ashok Kumar, Muhammad Tahir Bizenjo, Rukhsana Zuberi, Sana Jamali, Taj Muhammad Afridi, Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh, Jamal Asghar Additional Secretary IT and T, Muhammad Naveed Chairman PTA, Captain (R) Muhammad Shoaib Director Cyber Crimes FIA and other officials. The Committee took briefings from PTA and FIA regarding their mandate and initiatives to curb social media offences, especially kidnapping of children for pornography filming.
The Committee was told that FIA as of now only has investigation power and cannot initiate an inquiry on its own unless it receives a complaint from an individual and or any organisation. Under the PECA, 2016 the monitoring mechanism has to be developed and followed by PTA, a role which should be ideally given to FIA. The Committee directed the two bodies to come up with an amendment seeking the same and present it before the Committee. The Committee also decided to write to the Secretary Interior to give update as to what are the obstacles in signing the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) for effective cyber-crime curbing in coordination with global social media platforms.
The Committee also recommended to the PTA to advise the telecom companies to start public service messages in larger interest of the society and environment. The matter of a message being circulated by PTA regarding PTA non-compliant devices being dysfunctional after 20 October 2018 was also discussed and the Committee sought detail on the issue from PTA. The Committee asked PTA to consider the fact that not all of the 150 million mobile users can understand this message and do not have enough time to check the status of their phones or cannot afford to buy new phones altogether. The Committee will be given detailed presentation on the matter on Thursday.
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H.No.7, Cat-II, G-8/2,