So the stupidity of our government organizations do not have a limit. Just on the eve of EID PTA delivered this un expected gift to Tech Industry in Pakistan in the form of ban of usage of encryption software, which ultimately also translates into stoping organizations VPNs to secure access to their networks.
As most of the knee jerk reactions we have seen in recent years like banning of facebook across the country, this one is no different where there has been no exceptions mentioned and at this moment it seems an across the board blockade.
Whats more disturbing is the fact that although government thinks that this ban will help them in spying on communications between terrorists, removal of encryption would mean that this communication will become an open invitation for most of the hackers as without encryption it becomes extremely easy for them to eves drop on emails and other form of digital communications. The Guardian reports as follows
A legal notice sent to all internet providers (ISPs) by the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, seen by the Guardian, orders the ISPs to inform authorities if any of their customers are using virtual private networks (VPNs) to browse the web.
It will take some time to actually assess the impact of this ruling, how ever it must be pointed out as is done very well in this article that Guardian does take a lot of pain for showing sympathy for Pakistani online community, they had a completely different reaction when the UK Government decided to access private logs of BlackBerry users.
- Pakistan May Have to Abandon Cryptography Ban (technologyreview.in)
- Pakistan Bans Encryption Software (mashable.com)
- Pakistan to ban encryption software (guardian.co.uk)