PTA says it does not conduct surveillance

Published May 7, 2014
The PTA has distanced itself from charges that it carry's  out surveillance on the internet. -File Image
The PTA has distanced itself from charges that it carry's out surveillance on the internet. -File Image

The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has responded to non-profit organisation Bolo Bhi’s request for information regarding surveillance equipment and list of blocked websites.

Responding to the requests, the PTA says that it does not carry out surveillance on the internet and has distanced itself from the charges.

The PTA was specifically asked about the presence of surveillance equipment in Pakistan.

According to Canada-based Citizen Lab’s report, published on April 30, 2013, tests carried out detected the presence of FinFisher Command and Control servers in Pakistan.

FinFisher is a digital spying server used for mass surveillance of the internet.

Regarding disclosure of the list of websites blocked by the PTA, it is still awaiting decision of the relevant authority.

Bolo Bhi has stated that tests confirm the presence of FinFisher servers in Pakistan.

The organisation had filed right to information requests with the PTA under the Freedom of Information Act 2002 on 12 February, 2014.

Under the law, an authority has 21 days to respond to the request.

Bolo Bhi filed a complaint on 24 March 2014 with the Federal Ombudsman about failure of the PTA to respond to the information requests within the specified period.

On 2 April, 2014, the Federal Ombudsman notified Bolo Bhi that PTA has been given the deadline of 18 April 2014 to respond to the organisation's request.

Complying with the order of the Federal Ombudsman, PTA responded on 15 April 2014.

PTCL and Ministry of Information Technology & Telecommunication have been sent similar requests by Bolo Bhi, but have not responded.

The organisation said that it is still waiting for an official notification for a hearing at the Ombudsman’s office.

Opinion

Editorial

IMF package
28 Jan, 2023

IMF package

THE IMF decision to send its mission to Pakistan next week to discuss the resumption of its stalled bailout package...
Dar unpegged
28 Jan, 2023

Dar unpegged

IT is over. Nearly four months after Ishaq Dar descended on the cash-strapped economy with some decidedly outlandish...
Lurking hazards
28 Jan, 2023

Lurking hazards

OVERSIGHT of illegal industrial activity occurring within residential areas in the country is weak, especially in...
Election time
Updated 27 Jan, 2023

Election time

There are concerns whether the ECP will be sufficiently able to protect the integrity of elections if they are held under partisan governments.
SCO invite
27 Jan, 2023

SCO invite

THOUGH India’s invitation to Pakistan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation events in Goa later this ...
Call to arms
27 Jan, 2023

Call to arms

ONE way the state abdicates responsibility in Pakistan is by farming out its functions to the private sector. In ...