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 Table of Contents  
REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 9-15

A comparative analysis of cybercrime and cyberlaws in Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates


1 Department of Computer Science, Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad; Pakistan Academy for Rural Development, Peshawar, Pakistan
2 Department of Computer Science, College of IT, University of Bahrain, Zallaq, Bahrain
3 Department of Computer Science, Islamia College University, Peshawar, Pakistan

Date of Submission04-Mar-2016
Date of Acceptance26-Apr-2016
Date of Web Publication7-Oct-2016

Correspondence Address:
Muhammad Bakhsh
Research Wing, Pakistan Academy for Rural Development, University Town, Peshawar 25000, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Pakistan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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  Abstract 

The usage of web applications especially social media is increasing day by day. Moreover, the usage of information and communication technology applications both in public and private sector is the need of the hour since the usage of these applications has improved working efficiency. On the other side, excessive use of computer networks and its applications has augmented the issues of cybercrime, and there exist cyberlaws to deal these crimes but in developing countries, these laws are not matured. Furthermore, cyberlaws have been developed in almost every developed and developing country, but their implementation is weak, especially in Southeast Asia and the Middle East due to law unawareness in the masses. An attempt has been made in this paper to analyze the cybercrimes and cyberlaws, a part from the review of these laws in accordance with Pakistan and gulf countries.

Keywords: Cybercrime, cyberlaws, defamation, imprisonment, privacy, security


How to cite this article:
Bakhsh M, Mahmood A, Awan II. A comparative analysis of cybercrime and cyberlaws in Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Imam J Appl Sci 2016;1:9-15

How to cite this URL:
Bakhsh M, Mahmood A, Awan II. A comparative analysis of cybercrime and cyberlaws in Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Imam J Appl Sci [serial online] 2016 [cited 2017 Oct 19];1:9-15. Available from: http://www.e-ijas.org/text.asp?2016/1/1/9/191715


  Introduction Top


Presently there are two billion internet and five billion mobile users, using telecommunication and internet services in the world.[1] This increasing trend, influenced the individual's life routine matters. This century's innovative impact, affects not only individual people life but also on the way government interacts with civil society. On the whole, information and communication technology (ICT) is an essential tool for the growth of individuals, firms, and communities, to deal with greater efficiency. Information in any organization is the most valuable asset. Especially when the organizations are on a trend to use information system extensively, the reliable protection of computer-based resources against alteration, destruction, and unauthorized access is of instrumental importance for all. There are four necessary components of any secure transaction: Privacy, integrity, authentication, and nonrepudiation.

The security of information asset has become an issue due to massive attempts of insiders and outsiders of the organizations for so many reasons. These attempts are made for unauthorized entry into prohibited areas of the organizations, for damage, distortion or theft of equipment or documents, for copying or viewing of unauthorized data, for alteration of sensitive information and equipment, or for public disclosure, and abuse of sensitive information.

The world as a whole and western developed countries in specific has taken cybercrimes as a major threat for their businesses and citizens. The severe consequences of these crimes include the theft/loss of information of strategic importance, denial of service in online services, money fraudulent in bank transactions, etc., In 2010, about 83% of cyber victims were small industries or businesses with average lost £27,000–£55,000.[2] Off the shelves, software use is one of the major causes of cybercrime.[3] The different types of attacks can be avoided in a better way by creating an understanding about the threats.

Keeping in view the severity of the issue, in Pakistan, five ordinances related to cybercrimes were passed.[4] Pakistan E-crime bill 2014 is under process to provide more security to cyber users. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the anti-cybercrime law was approved in 2007.[5] The United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduces Federal Law No. 02 of 2006 on combating cybercrimes, and then, due to explosive growth in the cyber sector, existing law was abrogated with introduction of the new cyberlaw in 2012, which cater the recent era requirements and protect the users, state, and organizations.[6]

The basic aims of cyberlaws are to provide information security, protection to information networks, and protection of public interests, provision of security to the national economy and to the state. The cyberlaws first recognize electronic documents and give them legal status. Second, control mechanism to protect electronic systems. In Pakistan, offenses under these laws are nonbailable, noncompoundable and shall not try in any inferior court other than the court of sessions. In case if the act done is under the Electronic Fund Transfers Act, 2007, then there is a civil suit by the competent court by determining the pecuniary jurisdiction with regard to the amount in controversy.

The reason behind the selection of the cyberlaws of these three states is their geopolitical role in the current international political scenario. Further, the UAE become the business hub of the Middle East and Pakistan has a key role in the world to eliminate terrorism.

The rest of the paper is organized into three sections which are as follows. In Section 2, relevant literature was reviewed. Section 3 discusses the cyberlaws of three countries in detail with description to make the complete analysis. Section 4 concludes the paper with recommendation and future work.


  Literature Review Top


Some authors reviewed the Indian cyberlaws and proposed some preventive measures to provide security to cyber users.[7] The cyberlaws in India, recent cybercrimes and preventive measures to avoid these crimes have been discussed by Harshad et al.[8]

Kabay suggested that in the current situation, close coordination and vigilance between organizations can defeat cybercrimes.[9] Sharma [10] explored the latest cyber security emerging threats in India and their countermeasure techniques. The important provision in Indian cybercriminal law for data protection, privacy, encryption highlighted by Nappiani.[11]

Different types of cybercrime in society are reported by Dashora [7] and pointed out the limitations of Indian Information Technology (IT) Act 2000. The author suggested that legislation is not the only solution, and there is a need to create awareness in the society regarding cybercrime and laws. The author proposed preventive steps against cybercrimes and suggested that awareness must be made regarding these crimes and laws.[8]

The present state of cybercrime, its legislation, and prevention guidelines in developing countries are proposed.[12] Kundi and Nawaz discussed the threats to electronic transactions due to improper technical infrastructure and legislation, and reported 80,000–100,000 daily attacks on PCs in Pakistan.[13]


  Discussion and Analysis Top


This section gives brief overview of the cyberlaws of Pakistan, KSA, and the UAE. The cyberlaw of UAE is mature while that of Pakistan is still at initial stage. [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3] give brief overview and categorization of cyberlaws of Pakistan, KSA, and the UAE with crime, crime description, and punishments, respectively.
Table 1: Cyberlaws in Pakistan: Crime and punishment

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Table 2: Cyberlaws in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Crime and punishment

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Table 3: Cyberlaws in the United Arab Emirates: Crime and punishment

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The cost of cybercrime is significant and increasing day by day. Business losses are much larger than the loss to government or citizens.[16] Cyber culprits are not only individuals but also can be organizations and agencies involved in secret missions. In developing countries, cybercrime is difficult to quantify due to lack of awareness among peoples.

In Pakistani cyberlaw, pornography is not fully addressed; being an Islamic state it must be addressed and declared as crime with punishment. Section 13 of the law defines cyber stalking vaguely to incriminate anyone using electronic communication with intent to coerce, intimidate, and harass any person. This gives the prosecuting authorities a chance to use their discretion and declare anything immoral and obscene.

National telecommunication and security board was established with a mandate of cyber security. The board released its first document having guidelines and preventive measures to secure data from external access.

Cyber stalking, publishing false digital signatures, prestige or stature of the state and crown prince, and pirated software sale are not fully covered in KSA cyberlaw. However, the cyberlaws of the UAE are comprehensive and cover all the threats related to cybercrimes including prestige of the State and State machinery.


  Conclusion, Recommendation, and Future Work Top


The cybercrime legislations need to be upgraded in line with modern development in the field of ICT, especially in Pakistan and KSA. The UAE model of anti-cybercrime may be considered as role model, and electronic crime laws may be revised, especially in Pakistan.

Awareness may be made to Pakistani citizens about the preventive measures from electronic crime. Special care should be made while using social networking website, personal information such as passwords, codes, locker numbers, and photographs would not be disclosed to strangers. The underused computer systems must be protected with updated antivirus. Care shall be made in checking E-mails, only known E-mail shall be checked and others may be ignored. Try to avoid using credit card online and security firewalls must be installed in offices to avoid unauthorized access.

In Pakistan, cyberlaws shall be made according to international best practices and norms. The use of computer system is increasing day by day in our routine life, and social networking sites make it more attractive for whole community use. There is a need to introduce a subject about the cyberlaws and cybercrime with every master or bachelor degree to create awareness among the community. In Pakistan, universities did not have any separate department about the cyber security and cyberlaws, and none is offering any program in this field. There is a need to revise the curricula at the university level according to the modern needs.

A guide book about the cyberlaws and cybercrimes with explanations should be made available to the public for the purpose of awareness. Training programs must be started for executives and judges about cybercrimes. There is a need to conduct an empirical study to find the actual impact of cybercrimes on the economy, citizens, banks, government institutions and their functionalities, and to the IT professionals.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
  References Top

1.
OECD. Model Law on Computer and Computer Related Crime. Meeting of Commonwealth Law Ministers and Senior Officials. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Commonwealth, Secretariat, 2003.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Maple, Carsten, and Alan Phillips. UK security breach investigations report: an analysis of data compromise cases. 7 Safe, 2010.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Parker DB. Fighting computer crime: A new framework for protecting information. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1998.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
GoP. Pakistan Electronic Crime Ordinance, Government of Pakistan (GoP), 2008.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
KSA. Anti-Cyber Crime Law, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) Bureau of Experts at the Council of Ministers, Anti-Cyber Crime Law, Royal Decree No. M/17 8 Rabi 1 1428/26 March, 2007. 1st ed.; 2009. Available from: http://www.saudiembassy.net. [Last accessed on 2014 Nov 25].  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
UAE. Federal Decree-Law No. (5) of 2012, On Combating Cybercrimes. Available from: http://www.ejustice.gov.ae. [Last accessed on 2014 Nov 25].  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Dashora K. Cyber crime in the society: Problems and prevention. J Altern Perspect Soc Sci 2011;3:240-59.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Wadkar HS, Velankar MR, Meshram PD. A survey paper on Cyber crimes, Cyber Laws in India. International Journal of Advances in Computing and Information Researches 2012;1(2):24-8.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Kabay ME. A Brief History of Computer Crime: An Introduction for Students. School of Graduate Study, Norwhich Uni.; 2008.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Sharma R. Study of latest emerging trends on cyber security and its challenges to society. Int J Sci Eng Res 2012;3:1-4.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Nappinai NS. Cyber crime law in india: Has law kept pace with emerging trends? An empirical study. Journal of International Commercial Law and Technology 2009;5(1):22-8.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Kundi GM, Nawaz A, Akhtar R. Digital revolution, cyber-crimes and cyber legislation: A challenge to governments in developing countries. J Inf Eng Appl 2014;4:61-70.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Kundi GM, Nawaz A. Digital Pakistan: Opportunities and challenges. J Inf Syst Technol Manage 2008;5:365-89.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Gop. Prevention of Electronic Crime Ordinance, Government of Pakistan (GoP), 2007.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
GoP. The Payment Systems and Electronic Fund Transfers Act, Government of Pakistan (GoP), 2007.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.
Research Report. The cost of cyber crime study; united kingdom, Ponemon institute, Research department, Mishigan, USA, 2015.  Back to cited text no. 16
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]



 

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