Stringent cyber law in place soon


Determined to avoid a repeat of the recent cyber attack, the UPA government now plans to put in place a “new stringent national law and institutional mechanisms” dealing exclusively with the contentious issue of misuse of social networking platforms for terror and communal hatred and cyber crime.

The ministries of law and justice, communications and home will soon start the consultation process with all stakeholders. Sources said, in wake of what has been described as the biggest cyber attack on the country, the government is convinced that the existing laws and mechanism are completely inadequate in dealing with such situations.

Thus, an interministerial team from these three key ministries will have a fresh look at the country’s preparedness to deal with such eventualitiesin future.

“As a part of this exercise, the government will tell the social networking sites to put in a place a regulatory mechanism at their end also to filter objectionable content. Despite whatever these sites may claim, there are hardly any security measures that they have taken to stop the abuse of social networking sites,’’ a senior government functionary said.

Importantly, the government also plans to reach out to other countries, particularly where some important servers are located, to come together in this fight against cyber crime. Top government officials argue the recent incident has revealed that blocking a particular site or content at the international gateway is not a solution as ultimately one needs to hunt down the people behind it. And this, officials added, cannot happen without international cooperation.

“For instance, Pakistan will never admit or agree to help us track the accused persons. But if there is some kind of an international framework or regime then the country from such hate content is uploaded can be pressurised into taking action. There has to be international commitment as cyber terror us already a global phenomenon,’’ an intelligence official said.

Meanwhile, investigations have revealed that the SMSes that triggered exodus of people from the Northeast from different parts of the country were also routed through the Internet from Pakistan. At 250 to 300 SMSes were sent from every URL and till now investigating agencies have tracked down at least 360 such URLs in different parts of Pakistan, including Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi, sources said.

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