ISLAMABAD – Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) lawmaker Shazia Marri has said that the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2015 has been improved a lot after incorporating her proposed amendments but still she was not fully satisfied with the approved legislation. She said that there were many provisions in the law that could be misused in future. “So we will keep an eye on its implementation if it is passed by the Senate,” she said. “We must know that the (cyber) bill is need of the hour but there must be necessary safeguards to ensure freedom of expression,” she said. She also said that the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill was a legislation introduced by the government so treasury benches had to ensure presence of their members but it failed miserably in its job. She said that the opposition parties showed good gesture, as they could have easily delayed the passage of the bill by pointing out the quorum. A private channel reported that majority of the lawmakers remained absent during the passage of the cyber bill, showing lack of interest in the legislation that will affect around 200 million Pakistanis. The law was passed by simple majority when only 30 members, nine percent of the National Assembly strength, were present in 342-member house. Besides Shazia Marri, Dr Shireen Mazari, Dr Arif Alvi and Ali Raza Aabdi remained vocal from the opposition benches on the bill which must also be approved by the Senate before it can be signed into law. Online criticism of religion, Pakistan, its courts, and the armed forces are among subjects which could invoke official intervention under the bill. – Bill’s main features – Up to five-year imprisonment, Rs 10 million fine or both for hate speech, or trying to create disputes and spread hatred on the basis of religion or sectarianism. Up to five-year imprisonment, five million rupees fine or both for transferring or copying of sensitive basic information. Up to Rs 50 thousand fine for sending messages irritating to others or for marketing purposes. If the crime is repeated, the punishment would be three months imprisonment and a fine of up to one million rupees. Up to three-year imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs 0.5 million for creating a website for negative purposes. Up to one-year imprisonment or a fine of up to one million rupees for forcing an individual for immoral activity, or publishing an individual’s picture without consent, sending obscene messages or unnecessary cyber interference. Up to seven-year imprisonment, a fine of Rs 10 million or both for interfering in sensitive data information systems. Three-month imprisonment or a Rs 50 thousand fine or both for accessing unauthorised data. Three-year imprisonment and a fine of up to five million rupees for obtaining information about an individual’s identification, selling the information or retaining it with self. Up to three-year imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs 0.5 million for issuing a SIM card in an unauthorised manner. Up to three year imprisonment and fine of up to one million rupees for making changes in a wireless set or a cell phone. Up to three-year imprisonment and a fine of up to one million rupees for spreading misinformation about an individual.