A black hole in Pakistan’s security network

  • Pakistan Spy network was doing some fine job by getting access to all encrypted mobile talks, SMSs as all the mobile companies including PTCL have facilitated to security agencies to give access to their main frames. But there is ONE company operating in Pakistan that refused to give such access outright i.e. Blackberry. This company’s motto is the confidentiality of their customers. As a result, Pak government asked this company to pack up their network in Pakistan. The company simply said “OK fine! But we will never budge on our principled stand”. They were about to pack up and preliminary had sent sorry messages to their customers in Pakistan.

    To the utter surprise the latest development is:

    "We are grateful to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and the Pakistani government for accepting BlackBerry's position that we cannot provide the content of our customers' BES traffic, nor will we provide access to our BES servers," Beard said. – CNN News.

    What a great turn over and what would be its repercussion. Unless, there is any clandestine arrangement between Blackberry and the government to provide the access but not making it public such that the company’s reputation remains intact, I fail to understand how Pak government can make such a big hole in their security network and war against terrorism. All the terrorist groups would jump to use Blackberry facility. For the readers information, security agencies send caution/alert messages of security threats at any specific point mainly because they have the access to the mobile messages and talks between these terrorists. These agencies are well conversant to dig the apple when the terrorist coded message is orange.

  • Why is it of interest to you? Even the US media does not discuss such things so openly for national security reasons.

    Neither this is an exclusive Pakistani security agencies problem nor Blackberry has any edge on encryption anymore. Apple has a built in encryption feature for quite a while. Before that such features were provided through add-on apps. Security agencies have ways to break into secure communication.

    It seems, the capacity to monitor secure communication has a serious issue for the security agencies. FBI director James Comey asked Congress the other day to legislate that equipment providers must turn off the default encryption setting. A user has to manually turn on this feature. The statistical model of human behavior keeps the secure traffic to a manageable capacity.

  • Azizi: I think the issue didn't enter into your mind or you are trying to impress upon me some apps and security breaking through maneuver/technology.

    Pakistan government had given notice to Blackberry either give access to their encryption network or pack up. This means Pak government is not smarter than you. BTW it was the dispute between Pak govt. and Blackberry, it is not my worry. I just shared the news.

    Don't try to be over smart.

  • Let's assume Pakistanis did not have the capability to monitor BB secure traffic. But a year ago, Apple got into the same market with a bigger share. Pakistani now had to decide to kick out Apple too or let it be open season for all?

    The security black hole may not be due to the technical capability but due to will (Pakistan standard procedure of kickbacks included). How difficult was it for Pakistan to jam Radio Mullah in Swat?

    Allow me to say, the main benefit of road blocks at the entry of Islamabad is a money making engine for police and headache for peaceful citizens. Else it is mere is a deterrence. You just need a few decoy vehicles to engage the police in Chai Paani negotiation. The real terrorists can pass behind it unchecked.

    The difference between the ranger and Karachi police in controlling the law and order has the same dynamics. Else both have guns from the same manufactures and I am sure the police have paid a premium price.

  • یہاں کونسی چیزسیکرٹ ہے --جوسیکرٹ چائیے پیسے دیکرمعلوم کرلو--سب کچھہ بکتاہے ، ہرشخص بکتاہے یہاں ، بڑے سے بڑا محب وطن اوراپنے آپ کوملک کاوفادارکہنے والا--آرمی اوربیوروکریسی سے ریٹائرہوکرسب کے سب دوسرے ملکوں کے تھنک ٹینک کاحصہ بن جاتے ہیں