Cyber Terrorists from Pakistan Face Punishment by Death
Article by George Norman
On 13 Nov 2008
If you thing that the law is taking it easy on those who break the law on the Internet, and by that I mean spammers, hackers, malware spreaders, cyber stalkers and so on, then you should see what Pakistani law has in store for them. A spammer’s sentence of 3 months behind bars is nothing compared to what a cyber terrorist will get, and that is punishment by death.

I do admit that the death penalty is a bit much, but they will only execute the cyber terrorist if his actions lead to people’s death. “Whoever commits the offence of cyber terrorism and causes death of any person shall be punishable with death or imprisonment for life, and with fine”, is what Ordinance No. IV of 2008 states. With the option to imprison the cyber terrorist for life and hand him a hefty fine, I am guessing that they will resort to the death penalty only if the crimes he committed are truly atrocious.

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If you find yourself in Pakistan and you do not want to get charged with cyber terrorism, here is what the Pakistani law considers cyber terrorism: “(a) altering by addition, deletion, or change or attempting to alter information that may result in the imminent injury, sickness, or death to any segment of the population; (b) transmission or attempted transmission of a harmful program with the purpose of substantially disrupting or disabling any computer network operated by the Government or any public entity; (c) aiding the commission of or attempting to aid the commission of an act of violence against the sovereignty of Pakistan, whether or not the commission of such act of violence is actually completed; or (d) stealing or copying, or attempting to steal or copy, or secure classified information or data necessary to manufacture any form of chemical, biological or nuclear weapon, or any other weapon of mass destruction.”

The thing is that all these points, (a) to (d) are not exactly what you would call ironclad; the authorities could misinterpret them and issue a very hard punishment. When you consider life in prison or death as the punishment, you will most likely want to get back to the States, where the harshest punitive measure related to hacking is of 20 years behind bars.



Tags: Hacking
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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