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Pakistan: Penalty for “Cyber-Crime” Enhanced

(Nov. 24, 2008) Cyber-terrorism will be subject to the death penalty in Pakistan, according to a decree issued by the President of the country on November 6, 2008. The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Ordinance will be applicable to anyone who commits a crime detrimental to national security through the use of a computer or any other electronic device, and it will apply to Pakistanis and foreigners alike, whether living in Pakistan or abroad.

The offense of cyber-terrorism is defined as accessing a computer network or electronic system by someone who then “knowingly engages in or attempts to engage in a terroristic act.” According to the several definitions in the Ordinance, the term “terroristic act” includes stealing or copying, or attempting to steal or copy, classified information necessary to manufacture any form of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapon.

Other offenses for which punishments, ranging from 3 to 10 years in prison, are provided include illegal electronic entry into systems of any sensitive installation, electronic fraud, electronic forgery, system damage, unauthorized access to electronic codes, and misuse of encryption. (Pakistan Sets Death Penalty for “Cyber Terrorism,” YAHOO! NEWS, Nov. 6, 2008, available at http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081106/wl_nm/us_pakistan_crime.)