Pakistani President accepts recommendation of House of Lords Committee on internet security but goes just a bit further ….

Let nobody say that House of Lords Select Committee reports are without influence!  It seems that one of the recommendations of the House of Lords Committee inquiry into “Personal Internet Security” has been taken on board by Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari.  The Committee, of which I was a member, recommended stiffer penalties for those convicted of cyber-crimes.  However, Zardari’s response has probably gone just a bit further than we had in mind.  He has now issued a decree backdated to the end of September that sets the maximum penalties for internet crime as death or life imprisonment.

Those people who felt I had gone too far when I called for a Sarblanes-Oxley type approach to company directors who fail to take information security seriously enough might care to note what the Zardari solution might be!

One thought on “Pakistani President accepts recommendation of House of Lords Committee on internet security but goes just a bit further ….”

  1. Assuming the BBC is reporting accurately the definition of the crime as:

    (it) will be deemed to have committed “cyber terrorism” if they access a computer, electronic system or an electronic device with a view to engaging in a “terroristic act”.

    The law defines a terroristic act as an attempt to “alarm, frighten, disrupt, harm, damage or carry out an act of violence” against people or the government.

    It seems to me that the sticking point lies in the requirement to prove intent. This opens the door for the suspect to claim he was only trying to “scare the local authority into providing better service” or some other excuse.

    I do believe that the Pakistanis have the right idea to make cyber-terrorism a serious crime as defined by the punishment. It sure treats the problem as a far serious matter than our “Computer Misuse Act” which relegates the severity of a UK offence to something analogous to trespass.

    As an aside, it would appear that the provision of accessing an “electronic device” would include using a telephone as the definition doesn’t say “unauthorised” access to an electronic device.

    Now that all the Pakistani lawyers have been let of of jail, they can argue this one to death!

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