Online harassment in Pakistan


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Online harassment in Pakistan

Editorial :

Cyber-bullying and digital harassment continue to increase in Pakistan like in other parts of the globe. Social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc are becoming ground for online harassment. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Cybercrime wing disposed of around 1,00,000 complaints about online harassment during the year 2020.

Cases of cyber crime appear to be on a constant rise after the increasing dependency of human beings on information technology globally. Social media platforms turned into political battlefields also. However, some elements have been using social medial platforms for financial fraud, harassing women, child pornography.

Cybercrime reporting increased almost 5 times in Pakistan 

Reporting increased almost 5 times as compared to the previous year. The agency disposed of 1,00,000 complaints till the end of 2020. The complaints lodged at the Cybercrime Wing of FIA related to financial fraud, harassment, stalking, and unauthorized access, they mentioned. The exact number of complaints lodged with the Wing was recorded 94, 227 across the country.

In view of the growing number of complaints, the FIA established specialized investigation units to deal with financial fraud, harassment, defamation, women harassment, child pornography, and other high profile cases.

FIA cyber crime wing: Complainants have to go to the nearest FIA cybercrime office with a written application, evidence in hard copy, and an ID card. Minors need to be accompanied by guardians.

26 accused involved in child abuse apprehended during 2020

The Cybercrime Wing of the agency lodged 24 FIRs and arrested 26 accused and busted 3 gangs involved in child pornography and exploration. Sources said this helped in decreasing the number of child pornography incidents in the country. The agency also strengthened its cooperation with Interpol, the national crime bureau, Facebook, and Whatsapp. The global companies responded to 191 requests out of a total of 214 with regard to cybercrime.

The FIA Cybercrime Wing intensified its operations and arrested 621 accused, 22 gangs busted and 20,000 electronic gadgets recovered across the country. The agency also arrested 22 accused involved in BISP fraud and 4 million recovered after registration of 16 cases and 95 inquiries.

The Revolution of information technology has empowered every individual to express and her views independently. The monopoly of a few newspapers, journalists, and media houses decreased with the arrival of smartphones. However, the government is yet to regulate social media. Fake news, online harassment, cyber-bullying have almost become the order of the day in the country.

Code of ethics for all social media platforms in consultation with all stakeholders needs to be introduced and implemented. Only then, the use of filthy language, fraud, blackmailing, online threats, harassment can be stopped.

Online harassment in Pakistan

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