IT authorities have tasked the ISI to monitor and block the grey traffic
Government IT authorities have tasked the ISI to monitor and block the grey traffic without any legal mandate.
The ISI-controlled private-vendor-installed system to detect and block illegal telephony is choking the country’s internet resulting in disruptions of various internet applications like virtual private networks (VPNs), Skype, voice chatting, video conferencing, etc.
Complaints received by the authorities show that the system is also disrupting services of broadband operators, call centres, software companies and other businesses.
Lawful Intercept (LI), commonly known as tapping of all telephone and internet traffic, is already mandated to intelligence agencies but this is first time in the history of Pakistan that task of blocking of illegal traffic on internet has been mandated to the intelligence agency.
PTA in the last few days has received floods of complaints from broadband operators on blocking of legitimate internet traffic. The whole internet traffic of the country has been left at the mercy of a system that is being operated in an amateur manner in total disregard to the agony faced by the telecom operators, call centres and internet users. Call centres are losing huge foreign exchange revenue and Pakistan is getting bad publicity in the international business community.
- Pakistan has more than 30 million internet users and the country’s total internet traffic is routed through two operators and four under-sea optical fibre cables connecting Karachi with the rest of the world.
- Billions of rupees are annually spent on IT related official establishments but they have also terribly failed to install as yet a modern filtration system to block blasphemous and pornographic material.
Dr. Ismail Shah – The newly appointed chairman PTA said:
We are trying to fix the problems, the ISI controlled system is also being transferred to the PTA, which will also help quickly resolve the internet issues.
PTA is presently holding meetings with the Google administration to enter into an agreement whereby objectionable material, particularly the blasphemous stuff, could be blocked through Google.