What is the most trending app for quite a long time? I know you must be thinking of Facebook. Right? But, there’s another social app that connects people and is lying all the time in your cell phones and yes; this is WhatsApp. You share texts, documents, locations, gifs, audios, videos and one thing which you secretly share. Guessing??? Of course, this is a screenshot. It is trendy to have proofs of your conversation and one can never deny it.
As there’s good; there’s bad. Many people falsely use WhatsApp to threaten or harass someone by alleged calls and messages which trouble the victim. There are laws on WhatsApp harassment calls and messages in many countries that protect their citizens. We have discussed in Available Laws on WhatsApp Conversation previously and now we’re going in-depth in available laws on WhatsApp harassment calls and messages in Pakistan.
So let’s dig in it.
WhatsApp calls are traceable
The first thing that I need to make clear is – if you get a threatening call on your sim then you should contact police but if the same happens on WhatsApp then this would fall in cybercrime and this time, you should contact to the FIA’s Cybercrime Wing. Most of the time people approach to the wrong side to get solved their queries.
Since its launch, WhatsApp is being used in many places around the globe. There are political, social, freelance, discussion, friends, family, religious and many groups under different tags on WhatsApp. But, not forgetting the bad ones who have groups to plan an indecent or terrorist activity. There have revealed many extortion and target killing cases in Karachi where criminals have used WhatsApp to coordinate with each other. By saying this, I must tell you all that WhatsApp messages and calls are traceable. So if anyone is doing any activity, he/she can be traced by a single message or call.
Deleting messages will not help you
If you think that by deleting some messages and clearing your history will pull you out from the danger circle of getting caught then sadly, you’re wrong. WhatsApp is now under the authority of Facebook and upon getting a complaint, FIA can send the dossier to the respective authority to get all data – whether deleted or not. There’s an exchange of data treaty exists between FIA and Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media channels.
Available laws on WhatsApp harassment calls and messages
Let’s briefly discuss the available laws on WhatsApp harassment calls and messages in Pakistan.
- If some has hacked your WhatsApp account, through the web or by any other mean, then there is 3 years imprisonment, Rs. 5 million fine or both charged, depending on the severity of that offense.
- If someone harassed you either in a WhatsApp group or in a private conversation through any abusing content – other than pornographic – then there is 3 years imprisonment and Rs. 1 million fine or both.
- If someone shares unethical pictures then under Section 21 for that cognizable offense, there is 5 years imprisonment, Rs. 5 million fine or both.
- Punishment of these crimes for accused under 18 extends to 10 years imprisonment with Rs. 5 million fine or both.
Punishment of 3 years imprisonment, 1 million fine or both (in severe cases) for
- Allegedly seeing and checking someone’s WhatsApp
- Sending teasing messages or calls even after receiving any warning to not contact again
- Spying/stalking on WhatsApp
- Broadcasting a false content through WhatsApp conversations and groups
You need to make a protective shield around you. For this, you should
- Not reply to any suspicious message or attend any call.
- Not click spam links.
- Never check key block while using WhatsApp web.
If any government official is tracking your data then what should we do?
Well, if you’re innocent and any such person is doing to track your data without any legal permission which is not benefitting the public body but for his/her own personal grudges then you need to talk man-in-man, ask to stop doing that and tell him/her about available laws on WhatsApp. If he/she, after receiving your warning, continues doing same then you should pursue the case and launch a complaint against the accused.
But if they’re doing this for such a person who is involved in any activity against country then clearly saying that they have rights to do so as they are the security and public agency. One can do nothing to stop make them stop.
Giving an example here, last year a DIG of Gilgit-Baltistan harassed his ex-wife by sharing her indecent pictures. An FIR was launched against him and he was suspended from his position.
If you’re in trouble
Even after doing all precautionary measures, if somehow you have become a victim of such harassments and want to require a help then taking screenshots should be your first priority. I would strongly recommend to get in touch with a cybercrime litigator and launch your complaint in person. Again saying, pre-fortifying yourself against such cases should be on top of your priority list.
Ok! Talk further
FIA Cybercrime Wing has not that many cases of cybercrime as Indians have because under Indian Information Technology Act 2000, there are many cybercrime cases – even in Supreme Court – which they have successfully pursued. But FIA has resolved many cases in which recent one is from Punjab University Lahore, where a faculty member of Law Department has registered a case under PECA against other faculty members for getting abused in a WhatsApp group.
Want any help?
Upon concluding this, I must ask you all that if anyone of you has any query regarding such incidents or want to share any experience; just comment below, so that we all can get to know about root-causes of these crimes. I, with my team, is available 24/7 to make our people safe from any cyber harassment. Feel free to talk with us.
Till then share the information and keep yourself and people around you safe.