The National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication said in a meeting on Monday, that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was facing difficulty getting the required data from managements of social media sites to investigate cases of cyber-crime, security and objectionable material.
“Since Pakistan is not a signatory to the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (Mlat), they share information on their will and normally take eight weeks as they are not bound to share information without an agreement,” he said.
Jawad Paul, additional secretary of the Ministry of Information Technology, told the commission that 63 countries, mainly Europeans, had signed the agreement. He said it was necessary to examine the entire episode as how other countries which had not signed the treaty were tackling cybercrime.
“If we sign the agreement, we will have to abide by its rules. Before moving forward, there is a need to look if we signed the agreement how our issues will be addressed,” Mr Paul said.
The committee asked the ministry to carry out a comparison and come up with some working paper at the next meeting so that the committee would decide whether Pakistan should sign the agreement for getting access to data or not.
While discussing an agenda items related to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the committee took notice of the sale of mobile phone Sims in the streets. The chairman of the committee directed the PTA to take action on the matter.
The committee also discussed an agenda item regarding PTCL employees. The head of the PTCL employees union informed the committee about problems being faced by them.
The chair constituted a subcommittee, consisting three members and headed by Sher Ali Arbab, to look into the issues of the PTCL employees.
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13 November, 2019