Thursday, December 22, 2011

MNP banned, anti-state communication to stop, Government orders PTA

Yesterday, Interior Minister Rehman Malik held a meeting with Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Secretary Information Technology, Interior Secretary, FBR members, Inspector General Sindh and members of the Intelligence Agencies in order to devise a strategy to abandon the misuse of telecom technology in crime. Besides, he formed a committee in the chairmanship of Interior Secretary which will propose legal legislation to end the misuse of electronic equipment and electronic facilities like MMS, SMS and email in the anti-social and anti state activities.
The meeting was held because during the past few days, when President Asif Ali Zardari had gone to UAE for the medication of his illness, it was observed that anti-state messages were being sent through SMS, MMS and email to the prominent businessmen and journalists that increased the political chaos in the country.
This was also observed during the meeting that the use of unregistered SIMs continued in the hands of terrorists. Besides, some criminals also use the grabbed handsets SIMs in criminal activities that are registered on the names of honorable citizens. Therefore, the PTA chairman was ordered to devise an effective mechanism for abandoning the use of unauthorized SIMs in the bank robbery like crimes.
The decision to end the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service was taken during the meeting because it had raised concerns for law enforcement agencies, as the criminals have been porting their existing blocked numbers to the new telecom operators. Therefore from now, none of the operators are allowed to port the registered numbers of other operators to their networks. If they violated this order, they would become guilty under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1991 and their action will be regarded as an act against the national security of Pakistan. Additionally, those people who send threatening SMS, MMS or emails they will also be dealt under the Anti Terrorism Act (ATA).
The Secretary IT and Chairman PTA were directed to covey the concerns of government regarding the security of country to all telecommunication service providers, so now they are bound to ensure that the anti-social and anti-state elements, that can harm the security of country, cannot use their services in the illegal activities. Interior Minister gave special orders to ensure that public does not face any problem in communication due to rules’ implementation.
The above mentioned steps are to be taken due to the concerns regarding the national security of Pakistan. The operators are free to devise their own mechanisms in order to implement the law of state; their any weakness to implement the rule of law will not be tolerated. Adding to this, the meeting also decided to identify the anti state and the obscene word combinations in order to make text messaging safe, clean and social.
Therefore all the related players are now bound to devise their mechanisms to implement law in such a way that no problem comes to their customers. Additionally, the public has been told to inform the Interior Ministry if it gets any threatening or non-social SMS, MMS or email. And those who send the anti-social anti-state messages, they will become guilty under the ATA 1997.

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