Pakistan’s Telecom regulator and watchdog “The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has issued a public notice regarding the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) the regulator requires everyone to register their (VPNs) by the end of June. The organization has warned people to follow the instructions failure to meet the requirements, can result in IP addresses being blacklisted, blocked or other “legal actions,” being taken against the users.
According to the sources many corporate connections have been found to be using VPNs to generate grey traffic and/or provide illegal or unregistered Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. These connections were allegedly working as call centers and providing data entry operational services and have since been blocked by the PTA.
Grey Traffic is mainly the use of illegal telephone exchanges which bypass the legal route to make international calls. Presently, several companies are running call centers in Pakistan using VPNs to make it look like they are in the US (or any other country). These call centers make international calls to the US, UK, Canada, and European countries using VPNs and bypass the country’s jurisdictions.
The PTA aims to eliminate Grey Traffic in Pakistan as soon as possible and have started blacklisting and blocking many corporate clients of specific Internet Service Providers (ISPs). These ISPs have been notified of the illegal activities and have been instructed to notify their clients. These clients must then; either register their VPNs with the PTA before the end of June or face the disconnection of their services alongside other legal actions.
The public notice issued by the authority reads; “Use of any mode of communication such as VPN by means of which communication becomes hidden or encrypted is a violation of PTA regulations.” Users are urged to, “register their VPN with PTA through their respective Internet service provider till 30-06-2020.” The full public notice can be accessed on the PTA official website.