The Government is snooping

Dawn: Privacy of some seven million e-mail users in the country is prone to violation as the government admitted in the National Assembly that log-files of users’ internet activity were kept for a period of one month for security reasons.

In a measured response, the government informed the house that the cabinet’s approval for any such process had not been sought by any organisation. However, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, as the regulatory body of the telecommunication sector, has issued instructions to all ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to maintain record (log files) of their customers for a period of one month to help trace cyber crime culprits if required in any investigation under the law.

The government also informed the house that Internet users in the country maintained more than one e-mail accounts. “As per record held with PTA, at present there are about one million registered Internet subscribers in Pakistan. As estimated, seven million people use Internet and each user is maintaining about three e-mail addresses.

From the tone of it, it looks like that only the ISPs are required to keep a tab on their customers. Now tell me, what fraction of the internet users in Pakistan actually use ISPs’ email accounts? I’d say, less than 20%. Majority of the users log on through cable nets, cyber cafes etc. And many [like me] have lost faith in ISP email accounts. And then those who do use it, I’d say the majority would lie in the age group of 35-50 years.

When you get around 35 years of age, I think you get mature. The majority of e-crimes that happen across the globe are done by people in the age group of 16-22 years. And come on, for people in that age group, using ISP email is so uncool!

And if they are talking about terrorist organizations, they are kidding whom? Surely the terrorist organizations aren’t that naive. Even a 14-year old knows about proxies and anonymity in the websphere. Organizations like AlQaeda [I’m not necessarily implying that they are terrorists] aren’t too technologically advanced? I’ve heard that they use satellite phones, and emails to keep in contact. Now they wouldn’t ignore so big a hole as to use ISP accounts or not be too concerned about anonymity. Come on guys, get a life!

And the last thought, if they think about caching the web activities [actually a far-fetched idea], that would be a BIG privacy issue on behalf of the government. And after that [if that is implemented], the next step would be to log ALL the activities of a person online, a kind of the Big Brother scenario [Lol I just remembered George Orwell’s 1984]. A thought that is too frightening.

Not to mention that this would place a big burden on the meek shoulders of the crappy ISPs of Pakistan. They’ll have another thing to keep track of. And the criminals would just find other ways to play happy.


5 Responses

  1. haaan … isliyeh ab tum sudhar jao!!!! warna phir BBC k bajai ab GEO walai will search for u 😛

  2. BBC, GEO? What are you talking about bhai!

    Nobody is searching for me nowadays!

  3. ufffoooo … but pehlai to kar rahai thai na!!! ab sari story yahan suna doongi to soch lo govt k record mai ajaiga!!! n case wapas sai open ho sakta ahi!! 🙂

  4. Whatever! They’re not gonna get us!!

  5. wut do u mean by US!!!! ….. i didnt even know u us time!!! hunh!! tumnai yeh crime khud akailai kya tha!!! sorry bhi i wasnt involve!!! isliyeh keep me out of it 😛

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