The Need for Cyber Law in Pakistan

Over two decades ago, the National Research Council of USA warned the world of the potential danger of cyber-crimes in a report titled ‘Computers at risk’, published in 1991.It stated: “The modern thief can steal more with a computer than with a gun. Tomorrow’s terrorist may be able to do more damage with a keyboard than with a bomb.”

Today, the things have drastically changed with the information technology playing a major part in the lives of an individual. The more dependence on the internet and computer is leading to increased risk of privacy, security and cyber terrorism. Not just cyber-crimes have affected the lives of individuals but also posing a great threat to organizations, especially with the rise in e-commerce and m-commerce.

Where most of the countries are enacting cyber laws to keep a check on the online communication in the environment, the possibility of such law seems a far reality in Pakistan. Considering the high population of internet users of about 23 million, the absence of a regulatory system in this regard seems quiet perplexing. Although the work was initiated in 2007 with the introduction of Prevention of Electronic Crime Ordinance, no measures were taken to transform it into a law. Does that mean we are immune to growing number of cyber-crimes or does it reflect the negligence on the part of authorities to be considerate of the emerging threats from the new technology? To say the least, cyber-crimes are one of the increasing threats in the country and a cyber-law is the need of time. Let us explain, why so?

The need for a cyber-law

When we say cyber law very much needed in Pakistan; it is because of the following stated facts.

The above mentioned reasons and increased frauds in mobile and e-banking depict the vulnerabilities of the cyber world. Hence in order to tackle the cyber-crimes and ensure successful and smooth E-commerce and virtual communication, the government needs to step up efforts to enact a cyber-law in the country. But are the authorities too deaf to put an ear to the growing concerns of the citizens of Pakistan?

What’s wrong with cyber Law?

The growing internet population for Pakistan makes one wonder about the mere absence of a regulatory mechanism to monitor the virtual world. It is wrong to say that there haven’t been any efforts in this regards –quite a few though – these didn’t turn out to be productive.

In 2007, President Musharraf’s Government introduced Prevention of Electronic Crime Ordinance which was promulgated thrice but bitterly lapsed in 2009. The ordinance was reported to have some loopholes and was criticized greatly due to which it could not be transformed into an act. Some of legislators believed that it would make Pakistani society outcast in the cyber world. In order to fix these loopholes, the ordinance was sent to a house Committee after which it faded in misery.

Now after three years, the cyber law has once again become the focal point of the higher authorities. In a recently held high-level meeting, our interior Minister Rehman Malik has ordered the concerned authorities from different sector to prepare a draft on cyber law in the country. The move came after the showcasing of abhorrent anti-Islam film on YouTube which prompted government to block its services in Pakistan.

Before this, the telecom sector has been working closely with different stakeholders to review the virtual laws in the country. But until now, there has been no further productivity in this regard. After the announcement of a possible draft to be presented, the enactment of a cyber-law still seems a distant dream because of the possibility that it might not please all the stakeholders involved.

Until and unless all the state actors cooperate and accelerate the process of enhancing the regulatory mechanism in the country; it cannot become successful. Hence, one can only hope that the draft to be presented this time comes as an improved version over the previous version and manages to enter the country’s jurisdiction rather than being sent to any other committee.

(The article was written for Rasala Publications Group’s Brand, CIOPakistan)

WILL APPLE LOSE OUT TO SAMSUNG?

(The article was written for Rasala Publications Brand, PCWorld Pakistan)

The end to the ultimate Apple vs. Samsung battle might not be known but one thing is sure: both truly loves to make headlines, so much that other get few space to be in the news. The good thing is: the high heated drama has once again brought us here to debate on ‘who’s the King of Smartphone industry’, after Apple’s newly introduced iPhone 5. Before we can proceed, remember that we hold no loyalties to any of the above mentioned brands and the analysis is totally unbiased.

First of all, welcome ‘iPhone 5’ to the war zone. So will it bring back the lost glory of Apple snatched by ‘pirated Samsung devices’? –That’s what the most recent verdict declared – or will it fail to contribute in Apple’s COMEBACK to the top of the market.

IPhone 5: For the good of Apple or Samsung?

The iPhone 5’s launch was one of the much anticipated events of the year – for consumers, analysts and Apple’s competitors. The new device managed to top the headlines, with highest sales for a Smartphone in a day, which really called for Samsung worries.

Before the iPhone 5, Samsung created a buzz in the Smartphone market with its Galaxy SIII mobile which managed to become the first ever Smartphone to be sold more than iPhone. With a new player from Apple, a concern on Samsung part was very conspicuous. But as soon as the new device entered the consumer market, it seems Samsung has much to pinpoint than to worry.

First of all, the new iOS 6 maps in iPhone 5 is a total mess. The mapping app, replacing Google maps has been mocked at for its shortcomings in providing with right direction and right information.

Moreover, the new make from Apple seems to be criticized by its fans for being ‘so light’. Although it was introduced as lighter and faster device, it shows the iPhone maker following others in the industry and losing its own touch with the new innovation. Besides this, the size and screen of Galaxy SIII is bigger than the new iPhone.

Adding more to this, now Samsung got a chance to challenge innovations in the new device. The South Korean company has once again brought the two together in another court battle, over the LTE technology. Samsung thinks that it’s the Apple this time that has copied its Long-term Evolution technology and faster fourth generation wireless connectivity which brings another addition to famous “Apple and Samsung” series.

And its not just yet, another issues with the new iPhone include: speedy battery drainage and gets easily scratched. With these serious problems reported on some of the major tech sites, the popularity of the new device seems to be affected. Moreover, Samsung also got a chance to poke fun on Steve Jobs last make and to show that it’s already ahead in the competition.

To say the least, iPhone 5 truly stands out in some of the features that makes it the APPLE of one’s eye. The retina display is far better than the Amoled display of Galaxy SIII. Moreover, its app store is comparatively much larger than Android platform. But it fails to bring something more innovative than one would expect from Apple after two years.

Apple has so far been ahead of the competition for its innovative approach which it might be losing now –following the industry rather than leading it. An Apple die-hard would definitely go ga ga for the new iPhone but the question arises, Will it be as much a popular attraction of a larger Smartphone audience that uses Android devices? For now, the analyst opinion seems split on the issue but we think it would definitely bring more profit for Apple – not a much larger market though – in near future. What do you think? Feel free to ‘Have your say’ in the comments section below.