Social Media has become a hub to gather people on different forums. As it is used by a variety of people to share positive vibes, the virtual space is used by some cyber criminals that convert them into negative.
There are above 50 million broadband subscribers and about 150 million cellular phone subscribers that have occupied virtual space in Pakistan. But most of them are unaware that this space is being negatively used by some cyber criminals that have caused a sharp rise in the cybercrime cases registration in the last three years in Pakistan.
With the sharp increase in the number of cybercrime cases registration, most of them are about harassment of women through social media for which Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) has taken many initiatives to cater the problem.
Dawn News quoted the FIA’s figures that,
There has been observed a sharp increase in the number of cybercrime cases registration in the last three years in which harassment and blackmailing are the most prominent.
According to the report, FIA conducted 2,295 inquiries, registered 255 cases, and made 209 arrests in 2018. These figures are highest since the enactment of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) by the Parliament in 2016 in a bid to cope with the cybercrime problems.
In 2017, the corresponding figures were 1,290 inquiries, 207 cybercrime cases registration, and 160 arrests were made, whereas in 2016 the figures were 514, 47, and 49 respectively.
According to the FIA officials,
The tremendous growth of social media in recent years caused a sharp rise in the incidents of cyberbullying, harassment, blackmailing, hate speech, online defamation, and online fraud in recent years.
They further told that people usually don’t report the case due to some personal reasons, otherwise, the actual figures may be much higher. The situation will be brought under control as the government recently established 15 new centers.
FIA Cyber Crime Director retired Capt. Mohammad Shoaib, in June, told to the Senate Standing Committee that agency has only 10 experts to investigate cybercrime in the country. In January this year, FIA launched a new Cybercrime Reporting Website which is now permanently moved to NR3C.
FIA cybercrime circle received 2019 complaints back in 2017 which were related to three major categories: 1,592 or 76% are related to blackmail harassment, and defamation through social media, 307 or 14% are related to financial fraud, 116 or 5 % are of threatening calls, and the remaining 186 are pertaining to email hacking, spoofing etc.