Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pakistan Declares Death Penalty for 'Cyber Terror'

The president of Pakistan: Asif Ali Zardari, recently signed a law that states that 'Cyber-Terrorism' could potentially lead to the death penalty (as opposed to the relatively gentle punishment of up to 20 years in prison in America). This new law will obviously only apply to extreme cases, as stated in the law: only if the cyber terrorism "causes [the] death of any person," - The guidelines that are stated in the law are narrowed down to five aspects that could describe 'Cyber-Terrorism':

1.) A person/group with 'terroristic intent' that accesses an electronic device (e.g. computer, computer network, other device) and engages/attempts to engage in an act of terror. Im guessing this could activating a device such as a bomb via an electronic device such as a cellphone, or hacking into a government network to launch a missle.

2.) Altering information (adding/deleting, ect..) that may result in injury, sickness or death. (I'm guessing this could apply to something like deleting government records, hospital records, ect...)

3.) Transmitting/attempting to transmit a harmful program with the intent to disrupt/disable a computer network operated by the government. I think that harmful program would probaly apply to sending viruses to disrupt a government network.

4.) Helping/attempting to help in the commission of an act of violence against the sovereignity of Pakistan.

5.) Stealing/attempting to steal or copy classified documents necessary to manufacture a weapon of mass destruction (e.g. Chemical, Biological, Nuclear) - This is pretty self explanitory.

This law will apply to everyone in Pakistan (Foreigners are not exempted). When I first read the title of the article, I was shocked - but I would imagine that alot of the same would apply in the states (for example - if you use access an electronic device to engage in an act of terror, lets say: use a cellphone to activate a bomb, you could still get the death penalty here in the States).


Corey Laub said...

i actually like this idea. something that huge hasn't really happened yet, but is possible so having the death penalty could be a good deterrent for anyone considering a cyber terrorism act.

Catherine Malcolm said...

This doesn't seem that surprising, in extreme cases where the death penalty would be ruled, it seems almost similar to some cases in the United States. In order to have a satisfying opinion against this ruling you would need a case where it seems unjustified or too extreme. Other than that, we the use death penalty in some states and in other countries, even more.