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January 10, 2018

FIA’s Cyber Crime Circle gets online presence


January 10, 2018

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Sindh Director Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh officially announced on Tuesday that the agency’s Cyber Crime Circle had launched its website.

During a news briefing at his office, Shaikh said the new dedicated website would receive complaints of cybercrime and harassment. Pointing out the fact that most interactions were now taking place in the virtual world, he lamented that the same virtual space was being used by scrupulous elements to commit cybercrime.

The FIA chief said the agency had taken on the challenging tasks of protecting the cyberspace, taking action against cyber criminals and providing immediate support and relief to the affected people. “We are launching a dedicated website of the FIA’s Cyber Crime Circle.”

He explained the key features and main objectives behind the initiative: “The mission of the FIA’s Cyber Crime Circle in Sindh as part of the National Response Centre for Cyber Crime is to ensure the enforcement of cyber laws, to prevent cybercrime, and investigate, detect and prosecute cyber criminals. It is quite important to make reporting cybercrime easy.

“This is the first time that we are launching such a dedicated complaint reporting portal ( 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 cybercrime.

“The new online complaint reporting is easy and will also help the FIA efficiently respond to such crimes. This online complaint system will be more useful for girls, women and children who are frequent victims of harassment, as they do not need to physically visit our reporting centre.

“The complaint format is user-friendly and available in three languages: English, Urdu and Sindhi.“It covers all aspects of cybercrime. Given the sensitivities attached to cybercrime and considering the situation of victims and their families, we will be flexible in accepting the complaints directly by victims or anybody on behalf of them. The FIA is deploying well-trained staff to address the issue of cybercrime and we would respond within 48 hours.”

2,019 complaints in 2017

Director Shaikh said the FIA’s Cyber Crime Circle had received 2,019 complaints last year. “These complaints can be distributed in three major categories: 1,592 (76pc) of blackmailing, harassment and defamation through social media, 307 (14pc) of financial fraud, 116 (5pc) of threatening calls and the remaining (186) of email hacking, spoofing, etc.”

He, however, requested the public to see the initiative as the first phase, saying that the FIA planned to fully automate the system in the second phase.

In response to queries from the media, Shaikh said that there were greater challenges, particularly in acquiring relevant data. “There are some legal challenges on international level, as Pakistan has yet to become part of some global agreements.”

He assured that our country had a strong will, saying that under the leadership of the interior minister and the new director general of the FIA would make all-out efforts to help the victims.

“Cyber security should be a national agenda. We really need to have greater cyber security education and awareness, and we need everybody’s help in this regard.”

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