The Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Cyber Crime Wing officials in Karachi have been summoned by the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication for their next meeting. The committee has requested details regarding the complaints received by the officials.
During the committee meeting chaired by Mir Khan Muhammad Jamali, Chairman of the committee, Federal IT Minister Syed Aminul Haque warned telecommunication companies that they would face increased fines if they did not improve their services.
The Director General of the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) informed the participants that a legal notice would be issued to the cellular company Telenor in the upcoming week. The PTA conducted a survey in Chitral, which revealed substandard service by Telenor at 98 out of the total 128 sites assessed in the region. Although improvements were observed after a show-cause notice was issued, the quality of service remained unsatisfactory.
As a result, the PTA official stated that a legal complaint would be filed against Telenor next week. A representative from Telenor mentioned that the company was facing difficulties due to delayed opening of letters of credit (LCs), which impacted their operations. The representative also highlighted the importance of fiber availability from the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) to address the issue of high-speed internet in hilly terrains.
Moulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali raised concerns about the poor audio quality of calls in Chitral. While calls were being received, the quality of audio remained unsatisfactory.
Federal Minister Haque emphasized the need for telecom companies to enhance their services and warned of stricter penalties if they failed to do so.
The committee also summoned the FIA Cyber Crime Wing officials from Karachi to provide details on the complaints they have received.
According to judicial and prosecution officials, the Cyber Crime Reporting Cell (CCRC) of the FIA in Karachi received 1,500 complaints, inquiries, or investigations from the public in 2021. The CCRC additional director of the FIA mentioned that there were 1,500 pending complaints, inquiries, or investigations in Karachi due to the lack of submission of investigation reports.
Data compiled by the non-profit organization, Digital Rights Foundation, indicated that their helpline received approximately 1,500 public complaints from across the country in 2021 related to the misuse of personal data, including pictures or videos.
(With input from agencies)