VPN Crackdown: Internet Users Alarmed by PTA Announcement
Internet Users Alarmed by PTA Announcement
Internet users’ concerns about state surveillance escalated after the recent announcement by the Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) that it would crack down on virtual private networks (VPNs).
Using any communication method, including VPNs, to hide or encrypt data is a violation of the PTA, read the communications regulator’s statement on their website.
The notice added that the PTA had simplified the registration process.
Now, public and private sector organizations, foreign missions, and freelancers wishing to use VPNs for their legitimate purposes must register by October 31, 2022, using the online application available here to avoid disruption.
It added that VPN registration requests are only accepted through the aforementioned electronic link.
Applications submitted in any other way will not be accepted.
“The VPN blocking news has caused an uproar among internet users and is considered a way to restrict the freedom of internet users,” said Waqas Gani Kokaswadi, ICT Analyst.
Oftentimes, many internet users simply use VPN services when accessing WiFi in public places to ensure privacy and security.
“VPNs appear in the Google Play Store and are mostly used to access blocked websites or the dark web,” cybersecurity expert and researcher Etizaz Mohsin told The Express Tribune. As a result, authorities, including the PTA, have repeatedly cracked down on these open source VPNs, blocking them or reducing their efficiency, eroding the user experience.
Improved research on the threats to the hospitality industry has received widespread attention across the world as people use public WiFi networks to protect their privacy.
He’s shown remote concessions to hotels that put millions of guests at risk, including C-level executives, CEOs, presidents, sales and marketing directors, security professionals, and senior research and development personnel.
“This is a nationwide measure to block VPNs,” Mohsin said.
This is quite different from monitoring individuals, which is very difficult because they need to identify their personal Internet Service Provider (ISP), not internet portals.
People can switch to different networks by switching to different internet networks or using mobile data with different networks.
On the other hand, a general strike is easier but may harm legitimate businesses and organizations that use technology to ensure that their communications are secure.
VPNs are much needed by Pakistani companies working for overseas clients.
For example, a company has three offices in three different countries.
You may want to connect the three office files via VPN to avoid any intrusion.
The PTA has set a deadline for these companies to avoid any disruption, although there is the possibility of individuals being monitored by some quarters.
Human rights activists opposed the move, saying why the government needs to take these measures that in turn could violate people’s basic rights to freedom of thought and expression.
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