In an unprecedented move on Nov. 6, Pakistani government issued a decree under which “cyber terrorism” will be punishable by death.
The law, applicable on both Pakistanis and foreigners living in or outside Pakistan, will allow the government to punish those who commits a crime detrimental to national security through the use of a computer or any other electronic device.
“Whoever commits the offence of cyber terrorism and causes death of any person shall be punishable with death or imprisonment for life”, the law says.
Cyber terrorism is defined as accessing of a computer network or electronic system by someone who then “knowingly engages in or attempts to engage in a terrorist act”, said Reuters.
The ordinance listed several definitions of a “terrorist act” including stealing or copying, or attempting to steal or copy, classified information necessary to manufacture any form of chemical, biological or nuclear weapon, the news service added.
Illegal electronic entry into systems of any sensitive installations, electronic fraud, electronic forgery, system damage, unauthorized access to codes and misuse of encryption are now punishable crimes with penalties of three to 10 years in prison.
Critics are viewing the punishment as “too harsh” and an international outcry is expected soon.