KARACHI: Sindh Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh while addressing a press conference in Lahore, on Tuesday informed about the launch of FIA’s new cyber crime reporting website.
The FIA director also informed that the FIA’s Cyber Crime Circle received 2019 complaints last year. These complaints can be distributed into three major categories: 1,592 or 76 per cent are related to blackmailing, harassment and defamation through social media, 307 or 14 per cent are related to financial fraud, 116 or 5 per cent are regarding threatening calls and the remaining 186 are pertaining to email hacking, spoofing etc.
While commenting on the importance of social media the FIA director said that “Our world is fast changing and now most of the business and interaction takes place in the virtual world. Social media has surpassed any other form of dialogue as it is used for diverse purposes of communication. 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 added that the same virtual space is also being used by some criminal elements to commit cybercrimes.
“People have taken their fights and rivalries to this open and unlimited battleground in the virtual world. Pakistan enacted Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016. FIA being a premier crime investigation agency has taken up this challenging task to protect the cyber space and take action against cyber criminals and provide immediate support and relief to the victims,” said Ahmed Shaikh.
“It is quite important to make cyber crime 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,” he added.
The website is primarily aimed at young girls, women and young children who are frequent victims of harassment and will make the reporting of such cyber crimes easy and help FIA in efficiently responding to such crimes.
Ahmed Shaikh further informed that the complaint format is user-friendly and available in English, Urdu and Sindhi and added that given the sensitivities attached to cyber crimes and considering the situation of victims and their families, FIA 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. Once the complaint is launched, an automatically 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 within 48 hours,” said the FIA director.
He also stressed the need for greater cyber security education and awareness and urged the people to take proactive steps themselves as FIA cannot solve the issue on its own.