As we know social media getting strong position in our lives and social media has become a prominent form of dialogue as it is used for different purposes of communication. As per recent survey almost 50 million broadband users in Pakistan and the number of mobile phone users in Pakistan may be as high as over 150 million. Therefore, the effective space is also being used by some criminal elements to commit cyber-crimes.
With the expected growth of social media in Pakistan, the incidents of cyber-crimes especially harassments of women and blackmailing have also registered upsetting growth in the last three years. According to Dawn News while quoting the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) figures released here reported that during the last three years there has been a sudden rise in cyber-crimes in last three years especially harassment of women and blackmailing.
The report said the FIA conducted 2,295 inquiries, registered 255 cases and made 209 arrests in 2018. The statistics are highest since the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) was passed by the Parliament in 2016 in a bid to curb cyber-crimes.
The conforming figures for 2017 were 1,290 inquiries, 207 cases registered and 160 arrests made, whereas figures for 2016 stood at 514, 47 and 49. The FIA officials say that with the tremendous growth of social media in recent years, the incidents of cyber bullying, harassment, blackmailing and online frauds have also spiked in recent years.
Usually, people don’t report the crimes due to a variety of reasons, the officials said; the actual numbers may be much higher. The FIA officials said with the government’s recent measure to establish 15 new cybercrime reporting centers, the situation will be brought under control.
In June, FIA Cyber Crimes Director retired Capt. Mohammad Shoaib had told a Senate standing committee that the agency only has ten specialists to inspect cyber-crimes in the country. In January this year, the FIA launched a new cybercrime reporting website.
As per FIA report, its Cyber Crime Circle received 2019 complaints in 2017. These complaints were related to three major categories: 1,592 or 76 percent are related to blackmailing, harassment and defamation through social media, 307 or 14 per cent are related to financial fraud, 116 or 5 percent are regarding bullying calls and the remaining 186 are pertaining to email hacking, spoofing etc.