The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) works hard to combat cyber-crimes in Pakistan. They have solved major cases related to criminal activities happening online. They have also genuinely helped people with controlling misinformation. As a result of an increase in online terrorism, blasphemy, and fake profiles on social media and other cyber-crimes on the rise, it has now become pivotal for citizens of Pakistan to report fake online activists and report their crimes to FIA’s Cyber Crime Wing.
National Response Center for Cyber Crime (NR3C)
National Response Center for Cyber Crime (NR3C) is an integral part of the FIA. It deals with technology-related crimes in Pakistan. NR3C is the only unit of its kind in Pakistan. They are also responsible for receiving complaints and assisting other law enforcement agencies for their personal cases.
FIA collaborates with Facebook to mitigate issues related to misinformation
For the purpose of combating Fake news peddlers in Pakistan, Facebook has agreed to expedite information sharing with Pakistani authorities in connection with investigations in cyber-crime cases. A team from Facebook’s Asia Pacific headquarters visited the office of Director General FIA in March 2020 to discuss issues related to data sharing between FIA and Facebook.
The two teams even discussed mutual collaboration and cooperation in data sharing as well as cyber-crime awareness among social media users in Pakistan. The Facebook team agreed on expediting the sharing of relevant information when required by FIA’s Cyber Crime Wing in connection with their investigations.
The impact of fake news and misinformation
In recent years, many traditional TV news channels from electronic media have set up digital teams hoping to generate interest amongst online audiences. However, the majority of these so-called digital experts working at digital departments of news channels have very little understanding of what entails as a cyber-crime or as a hate-crime.
Pakistan’s traditional media and major news channels have been accused of financial and ethical corruption over the years. They did not even spare a world-renowned Religious Scholar – Maulana Tariq Jameel – and left no stone unturned to harass him and embarrass him again and again. In fact, many of these so-called reporters and experts with News Channels abuse their power and are known for exploiting situations to their advantage.
It is in this context that they have severely demolished authenticity from our online ecosystem. They frequently write in favor of anti-Pakistan elements and retweet content that ridicules our law enforcement and judiciary. Most of these so-called ‘digital’ experts exploit their positions to downplay others.
This is highly unfortunate that they use their authority to crush any voices that don’t agree with them. They continue to side with anti-state actors in the name of freedom of speech. In this context, they try to use existing laws by threatening and harassing those who don’t agree with them.
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This is because these ‘digital experts’ who most likely can not speak about digital for more than 30 seconds continue to impose the same old rules of electronic media on digital and misguide people by claiming anything against them to be fake news. This is highly unfortunate and PEMRA, PTA, and FIA’s cyber-crime wing should take action against such anti-state actors in Pakistan.
Role of digital native publishers to provide authentic news
This type of vested interest and morally corrupt behavior by traditional media further increases the potential for blurring the lines between genuine vs fake news. It also makes hard for FIA to allocate their resources to where it is most needed (most electronic media outlets don’t understand digital platform news at all). This is the reason that Digital Native Publishers like Parhlo.com are quickly growing and have millions of readers every month.
Pakistanis are just tired of all the lies and doom/gloom portrayed by these traditional TV channels and their troll teams who would do anything to crush anyone who stands up to them. They trust Digital Publishers like Parhlo.com because there are no vested interests or back-hand deals by these digitally native platforms and their teams.
For instance, in 2017, Mashal Khan a student from Mardan was killed for posting blasphemous content on social media. This was later reported as all the posts were being shared through a fake Facebook profile. To mitigate this misinformation effect on social media, FIA’s Cyber-crime department is working to report fake social media profiles.
There are two ways through which you can report a fake profile. You can either directly report it to Facebook or you can also report to FIA Cyber Crime Unit.
Report to Facebook
For reporting a fake profile to Facebook, open the profile, and click on the top right button. You can then select a report option from the menu. Facebook will then prompt you to select from different reasons why you want to report that person.
Report to FIA Cyber Crime Center
Internet users in Pakistan can also avail online cyber complaint service of FIA’s National Response Center for Cyber Crime. It is essential to follow the steps below:
Fill the form and press submit button
Your complaint will be submitted to FIA Cyber Crime Wing
You could also be asked to provide details of the cyber-crime that you are reporting. You could either email (email@example.com) or contact on 051-9106384 for any query against your complaint as well as update progress. However, it is critical that FIA looks at every case fairly to understand the situation and context. Major traditional TV channels and their Digital Wings are known for publishing doom and gloom stories to dis-credit digital native publishers. Traditional Media has lost the trust of Pakistanis. This is why the TV viewership in Pakistan continues to slide. People just don’t trust TV channels and their digital departments.
Report blasphemous content to PTA
If you find any objectionable content online, especially on social media, you can email the details to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I complain about cyber-crime?
To tackle the issue of cyber-crime in Pakistan, FIA has opened various crime cells in different cities of Pakistan. When cyber-crime is committed, it has global jurisdiction. As a result, a complaint can be filed at any cyber cell.
Given below are the step by step procedures to file a cyber-crime complaint:
Step 1: The victim needs to provide a mailing address, name & telephone number along with an application letter that addresses the head of a cyber-crime investigation cell when filing a complaint.
Step 2: It is essential for the victim to also provide certain documents in order to register a complaint. A list of documents varies with the type of cyber-crime.
Information required to report hacking
In the case of hacking, the following information should be provided:
- Server Logs
- A copy of the defaced web page in soft copy as well as hard copy format, if the victim’s website is defaced
- If data are compromised on the victim’s server or computer or any other network equipment, soft copy of original data and soft copy of compromised data.
- Access control mechanism details, i.e., Who has access to the computer or email of the victim?
- List of suspects if the victim is having any suspicion on anyone.
Contact person for FIA Cyber Crime Pakistan
The Cyber Crime Wing of FIA Pakistan is currently led by Abdul Ghaffar. He serves as the Deputy Director of Cyber Crime, FIA, Pakistan. Ghaffar and his team have done very well in fighting online crime, and we hope they continue to do so.