Acts of cyber terrorism that cause death will be punishable with death or life imprisonment in Pakistan, an ordinance issued by President Asif Ali Zardari has proposed.
The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Ordinance, that seeks to get tough with high-tech offences, will be applicable to persons who commit crimes detrimental to national security by using computers or other electronic devices.
The proposal, which still has to go to parliament for approval, is part of wide-ranging moves to crack down on cybercrime, including electronic fraud, data damage and illegally accessing information.
The law, promulgated on Thursday, will apply to Pakistanis and foreigners living in the country or abroad, it said.
"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," the decree states.
Other cyber crimes like electronic fraud, misuse of encryption and illegal electronic entry into computer systems or sensitive installations will be punishable with prison terms ranging from three years to 10 years and fines of up to Rs 10 million.
It defined cyber terrorist as any person, group or organisation using or accessing a computer, computer network, electronic system or electronic device and knowingly engaging in a terrorist act.
By Rezaul H Laskar