Register your VPN with PTA – Face Legal Action Otherwise

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VPN Blockade in Pakistan

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has started the process of registration of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) in the country to crab the illegal transmission of internet traffic.

The authority wants to promote the legal use of ICT services or businesses in Pakistan to provide safety to telecom users. It said in a press release “The exercise is being undertaken to promote legal ICT services/business in Pakistan and safety of telecom users”.

Though the authority has literally mentioned in its earlier notice the use of unregistered VPN is a violation of its regulations.

“Use of any mode of communication such as VPN by means of which communication becomes hidden or encrypted is a violation of PTA regulations.”

It further tells that an appropriate registration will be required from the authority to use the VPN. However, it’s noted that the process of registration is not new and has been in place since 2010. While the authority tells that the authorized users can register their VPNs through a smart and swift process initiated through their internet service provider (ISP), it warns the users that strict action will be taken otherwise. Note that action may include disconnection of internet services by your provider or any other penalty, fines or punishment by the authorities.

The process for registration of VPN is not new and has been in vogue since 2010. Authorized users can register their VPNs with PTA through a smart and swift process initiated through their service provider.

Action will be taken only against unauthorized VPNs for terminating illegal traffic which causes loss to the national exchequer. PTA remains committed to serve as per its vision in ensuring that high quality ICT services are available to telecom users in Pakistan.

The telecom authority has been struggling hard to prevent grey traffic, most importantly the illegal use of voice over IP (VoIP) traffic from the country. While almost all of the illegal activities on the internet are performed with the use of VPN, the authority eventually has decided to block all kind of virtual private networks.

It’s reported that the restriction is imposed on the businesses that provide call centre services for foreign companies over illegal VoIP traffic. However, it’s also reported that the restriction is equally affecting freelance community that usually needs a VPN to connect to their client’s equipment virtually and securely.

Eventually, it looks like, everyone is affected by this restriction. Let us know if you are an individual who has used to use any VPN to connect to their clients’ networks, and is now having troubles doing so. Do mention which VPN have you been using. Your feedback will be valuable.

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