Tuesday, January 31
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IA receives 2019 cybercrime complaints including blackmailing, harassment

KARACHI: FIA’s Cybercrimes Circle Sindh received 2019 complaints. These complaints can be distributed in three major categories: 1592 or 76 % were pertaining to blackmailing, harassment and defamation through social media, 307 or 14% were related to finical fraud, 116 or 5% were threatening calls and the remaining 186 were pertaining to email hacking, spoofing etc.

This was stated by Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh, Director FIA, Sindh Zone while addressing a press conference here on Tuesday . He said the main reason to invite you today was to share launching of FIA’s new dedicated website to receive complaints of cybercrimes and harassments.

He said: “Our world is fast changing and now most of business and interaction takes place in the virtual world. Social media has surpassed any other form of dialogue as it is used for diverse purpose of communications. There are over 50 million broadband subscribers in Pakistan and the number of cellular phone subscribers may be as high as over 150 million. “

He said the same virtual space was also being used by some scrupulous elements to commit offences, which were now known as “cybercrimes”. People had taken their fights and rivalries to this open and unlimited battle ground in the virtual world, he added.

Shaikh said: “Pakistan enacted Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016. FIA being a premier crime investigation agency has taken up this challenging task to make all our efforts to protect cyber space and take action against cyber criminals and provide immediate support and relief to the victims.”

“Keeping in view the above reasons, we are going to launch a dedicated website of FIA’s cybercrime circle for Sindh. Shortly, we would demonstrate the website but let me explain the key features and main objectives behind this initiative.”

He said that the mission of FIA’s Cyber Crime Circle in Sindh as part of National Response Centre for Cyber Crimes (NR3C) is to ensure the enforcement of cyber laws, to prevent cybercrimes, and investigate, detect and prosecute cyber criminals.

“It is quite important to make the cybercrime reporting easy. This is the first time that we are launching such a dedicated complaint reporting portal, www.fiacybercrimesindh.com.pk, where anybody from anywhere in Sindh can report cybercrime or harassment using our online system. People must not suffer in silence and need to come out to report cybercrimes.”

The new online complaint reporting will make it easy and also help FIA in efficiently responding such crimes. This online complaint systems will be more useful for young girls, women and young children who are frequent victims of harassments as they do not need to physically visit our reporting center.

He said that the complaint format is user-friendly and available in three languages English, Urdu and Sindhi. It covers all aspects of cybercrimes. Given the sensitivities attached to cybercrimes and considering situation of victims and their families, we will be flexible in accepting the complaints directly by victims or anybody on behalf of victims.

FIA will ensure that confidentiality and privacy of victims is protected and even in courts we can disclose identifications only with their consent. Once the complaint is launched, an automatic generated message will be delivered on the given cell phone confirming the receipt of the complaint with a reference number. FIA is deputing well-trained staff to address the issue of cybercrimes and we would respond within 48 hours.

“I also need to tell you that during the year 2017, FIA’s Cybercrimes Circle Sindh received 2019 complaints. These complaints can be distributed in three major categories: 1592 or 76 % were pertaining to blackmailing, harassment and defamation through social media, 307 or 14% were related to finical fraud, 116 or 5% were threatening calls and the remaining 186 were pertaining to email hacking, spoofing etc.”

Shaikh said: “I hope you would agree with me that FIA alone cannot address the issue of cybercrimes. Cyber security should be a national agenda. We really need to have greater cyber security education and awareness and we need every body’s help in this regard.”