PTA Wants a Watch on Encrypted VPNs

PTA has asked not to use any encrypted VPN (virtual private network) for any kind of data transfer and if it is necessary to use that, get it enrolled with the authority first.

If you do not know already, be sure that PTA monitors what you are doing with your internet connection. Either you are on a mobile internet connection or on your home based broadband: PTA wants you to not to hide your data from Government; and this is for national security.

Keeping up this monitoring, PTA has asked all ISPs and cellular networks to notify their customers about using encrypted virtual private networks.

Customers are asked to provide information regarding any encrypted Virtual Private Networks(EVPNs) used by them. Customers will have to provide following information to their respective ISPs by Friday July 29, 2011:

  • Purpose for which EVPN(s) is/are being used
  • Customer premises IP address(es)
  • Remote end IP address(es)

The issued letter by PTA (attached at the end of the post) clearly states that authority had already prohibited using all such mechanisms, including Encrypted VPNs which conceal communication to the extent, that prohibits monitoring.

Seems like this is the time when PTA has thought of taking action, so make sure to take necessary measures in this regard if you are using an EVPN, or you may face the legal consequences.

And for those who do not know what exactly a VPN is:

A virtual private network (VPN) is a mechanism for providing secure, reliable transport over Internet. The VPN uses authentication to deny access to unauthorized users, and encryption to prevent unauthorized users from reading the private network packets. The VPN can be used to send any kind of network traffic securely, including voice, video or data.

Secure VPNs use cryptographic tunneling protocols to provide confidentiality by blocking intercepts and packet sniffing, allowing sender authentication to block identity spoofing, and provide message integrity by preventing message alteration.