Pakistan Seeks Access to Gmail / Yahoo Emails to Combat Terrorism

Government of Pakistan has requested Interpol to devise a way out for Pakistani authorities to easily and quickly gain access to email data of Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail users by showing Pakistani court orders to relevant service provider in order to fight cyber terrorism in the country, told us a high level government official who is directly aware of the situation.

On behalf of Government of Pakistan, Interior Minister Mr. Rahman Malik has written a letter to Interpol chief requesting his help to find a way out  so that these global internet service providers (such as Google) start accepting Pakistani court orders. Minister said that these companies usually don’t respond to requests or require US court order for retrieval of required information.

Government of Pakistan believes that Talibans and other terrorists use emails to share intelligence.

letter said that it has become extremely necessary to intercept email data of terrorists and those of fraudsters to combat the terrorism and other crimes in the country.

Earlier today local media had quoted Mr. Rahman Malik as warning Google Pakistan to co-operate with government of Pakistan in tracking criminals or to face a ban.

Mr. Badar Khushnood, country consultant for Google Pakistan opted not to respond to our call to give his viewpoint.

It merits mentioning here that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority recently banned the usage of secure VPN or any other secure mode of internet channel. Pakistan’s such efforts of keeping a watch on Internet is largely condemned by the masses.

It wont be out of place to mention here that Google has communicated in it’s privacy statement that company may be legally required to share Gmail emails or any data with law enforcement agencies. But for that government agencies (from around the world) are required to contact Google requesting the data for any specific incident or personal.

Update:

Express Tribune has published following video showing Rahman Malik as saying that neither Google nor Youtube is helping Pakistan.

Following is the full text of Mr. Malik’s talk:

In case of cyber crime, let me tell you that neither Google is helping us nor Youtube. Several Taliban factions are using Internet right now.

Even in Mumbai attacks, the telephony and internet service providers are based in U.S.

Many of my colleagues also demanded that if Google and Youtube are not helping us, then we should block them – but I don’t want to do that immediately.

The service that is spreading terrorism in our country, or if it is helping terrorists then we have a full right to block it.

Update 2:

We have got hold of the letter of Government of Pakistan that was sent to Mr Ronald K. Noble Secretary General ICOP/ INTERPOL.

Excerpts from letter are as following:

As you are aware of the fact that Pakistan is actively engaged in fighting war on terror  for the last ten years. The terrorist are invariably using modern technology as a mode of communication for their nefarious designs, They also create websites and profiles on social networking sites websites for cyber terrorism and to defame Law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and the government dignitaries.

It has been bought to my knowledge that in this process, these devious and unscrupulous people are spreading disinformation to their advantage and misuse of technology has risen to a level, where even media people are getting threats through internet.

Modern information and communication technology on one hand has made the world a global village but on the other hand has created enormous difficulties for LEAs in investigation of cybercrimes and electronic crimes.

Investigation of cyber crimes and matters involving cyber terrorism require timely retrieval of information and data from the companies like Google, Gmail, and YouTube etc. Since most of such companies are located in USA, when they are contacted for provision of information, either “Subpoena” is asked for or no reply is received from them. If the matter is referred through INTERPOL, production of Subpoena is again advised to proceed further with the matter.

You will appreciate that the provision of “Subpoena” or  “Court Order” of their country of origin is not possible for foreign LEAs. Our Concerned LEA has not received a proper response from these companies even on provision of our domestic Court Order and hence a large number of cases are not resolved.

I would like to request your indulgence in the matter at personal level to take up this issue at the appropriate forum and determine remedial measures to device a mechanism for quick information retrieval from service providers located all over the world by accommodating “Court Order” issued by a competent court of jurisdiction of Pakistan. We request that orders of our Court may be honored in this respect.

While admiring and appreciating your support and services rendered to Pakistan And our LEAs, I am hopeful that you will be able to find a workable solution to the issue at hand .

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK


  • Kashif

    google don’t give them anything… privacy is something our country don’t know. if gmail shared anything i will delete my account

    • Yes,,,Take example of China.

    • Kashif do it now :P

      America always have access inside their holy services such as Google, Microsoft. They should give access to Pakistan too.

  • Raza Asif

    PTA is trying to help Pakistan, we should support it at least for once instead of condemning it.

  • Kashif

    terrorism? no way. ISI will use this to track politicians and journalists. Yahoddi agent ,raw agent kon ha bas yehi check krain gay

  • Honestly! just because the Government is incompetent enough to deal with terrorism, they are putting the blame on Google. This is crap!

    • Oh plz, there are some genuine concerns. TTP and others are using internet to communicate. You are more concerned about your dough through Adsense then country! Yes, law need to be made so that Pakistani Govt dont start asking for data of anyone, but Pakistani Govt should have access to Google data. We dont need to show Google US court orders every time we want anything, Pakistani court orders should suffice.

  • new drama of rehman malik :)

  • rafay

    This is totally absurd ban on google or ways of sniffing emails wont help anything as there are tons of other ways of communicating via internet. Terrorists are not dumb like this joker.

  • Asif

    Not a bad idea, But I don’t think they need to ask any thing form Google etc. They have access to all of Pakistan’s ISPs. If ISPs can block any website, they can also have access to any content circulating through Internet gateways or switches in Pakistan. I am not sure, as SSL technology makes it really difficult, even for ISPs, to track email contents.

    ~ Love Pakistan or Leave Pakistan.

    • Shahid Saleem

      People who say “love Pakistan or leave Pakistan” hate Pakistanis who don’t 100% agree with their point of view.

      For your information, you can be wrong.

  • Salman Abbas

    WTF What do terrorists use YouTube for?

    • Imran Shah

      you know…those videos in with they GLORIFY “FAKE MUJAHIDEENS” and lal masjid culprits.

  • WhizKID

    Just Get a Life Malik sahb. We all know how much you or any other politician like pakistan.

  • Ali Aamir

    Google will never to do this,

  • If they ban Google and there Services than what about Adsense users which depends only on Google Adsense to earn money on internet. Rehman Malik is trying to increase the joblessness in Pakistan.

  • If terrorists use Gmail/Yahoo/Hotmail/YouTube to spread terrorism, does he think they would use these services ever again after learning about this.
    Perhaps he doesn’t know that there are hundreds of other video hosting sites and email services terrorists can use for this purpose.
    These companies should not give them access of any sort. Its an obvious tactic to dig into users data to remove anything against the Government

  • darkstar

    Even if they have access to gmail and they can read our mail, how they will break encryption if terrorist are using one like PGP

  • Ullo ka Patha!!

  • Ali

    Terrorists are using Internet, ban it. They are using locomotives, ban them. They are using the postal and courier services, ban them. They are using mobile phones, ban them. They are using public transport to move, ban it. They are using medical services (doctors, paramedics, hospitals, and clinics etc.), ban them all.
    We are considered to be no more humans. Accept it, and revert back to stone age. This is what they want. ****

    • Raz

      So beautifully expressed. It is in fact a sick approach to ban whatever the terrorists use to hide their own competency. The likes of Malik must also be banned over the fact that they have miserably failed to do anything concrete in countering the much hyped terrorism. May be these people are the prime reason of terrorism in the country for their vested interests, who knows.

  • dimensional

    Dear Mr. Rehman Malik,
    LOLzzzzzzzz Google may would like to help you in this regard, but then they looked at the past history of your effective measures against terrorism and found that when u cant even trace physically 2 terrorists which entered Naval Establishment,, how come you be sure to trace terrorists from emails???

  • Shahid Saleem

    The more I read about this the angrier I get. Look:

    https://twitter.com/#!/salmanansari/status/115292746226475008

    So in the past there was NO PROBLEM sharing such information through official channels. So what changed? Does anyone really believe that Hotmail (Microsoft) and Yahoo share info through official channels and Google refuses? EVERYONE KNOWS THAT GOOGLE HAS BACKCHANNELS FOR OFFICIAL REQUESTS!

    We know this because google has made it public!

    http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/governmentrequests/

    Google does not hide this thing. IT IS 100% PUBLIC except for the names of the people or data requested.

    We also know that because the Chinese government hackers tried to access those backchannels. They wanted to track political opponents who used Google.

    How much do you want to be that Rehman Malik also wants to track political opponents? Or maybe business opponents???

  • akanuke

    wha’??? lolzZzZz…. Oh c’mon , grow up u politicians….n if u r anble then u guys should try “pediasure”, “bournvita” or “horlicks”…
    i bet kids can suggest better than ya politicians.

  • Abdullah

    GOP should understand that GOP have a pathetic human rights record. First they need to sort out their house and give people their rights before demanding the ability to spy on citizens

  • anu

    yar aik ch***iay shakhs ne aik chu****pay ki baat kar he de hay to maaf kar 2 usay, aya bara james bond ki aulaad jo emails se terrorists pakaray ga

    p.s
    sorry mods cant say it in decent words

  • unknown

    now the journalist in pakistan can launch their own wikileaks by tracking politicians , celebrities (really! ) etc . email’s …

  • Tony

    Agencies of powerful countries are sniffing emails and phone conversations for years using sophisticated technologies. In recent past Facebook had to provided data to some agencies in USA and that was reported in the press. Anyone thinking that any work they do on internet or their text/phone conversations are privacy, need to know a lot more about what is happening in the world. Though this is unfortunate but sniffing of internet and emails and listing to phones/text has been going on since 9/11 on an advance and massive scale. Targeted countries include Pakistan as well.

    Another very unfortunate aspect is that internet is used by spies to interchange information. In recent past Russian Agents’ group was caught in USA and they were exchanging information by imbedding secret codes in photographs they were exchanging on the internet. That again was reported in the press and became an issue between USA and Russia.

  • Great news now a new operation would be launched to eliminate terrorism over the internet.

  • Prostar

    If for example, google give him access to the users data, what will he do then?????? He will never use it for finding terrorists but he will use it for his own purposes and he will blackmail pakistani users and his political opponents.
    We don’t trust this minister & we don’t want our personal data to be accessed by this evil.

  • Umair

    Mr. Rahman Malik as warning Google Pakistan to co-operate with government of Pakistan in tracking criminals or to face a ban

    They are really idiots, with no brains. Only problem is Social Media is bringing their real faces to public and they gona do propaganda to block these services.

  • Saleem Khan

    Already PTA has stopped ENCRYPTION of data and still out dumb & duff officials wants access to gmail and yahoo.

    You just imagine….Govt stopped ENCRYPTION of data and assumes that now this data will remain safer for Govt…what if Terrorists collect Govt and Military data…because unencrypted data is equally risky for Govt too. Imagine the level of nonprofessional attitude.

    People makes ID on twitter and starts feeling that they know TECH world….hahaha

  • Shahid

    oo man …y to ask google etc ..arrange a decent kind of hacker for the purpose …its not a big deal to hack an acount ….. Problm I ever faced after every account hack is encryptn or codes some one uses to diliver information..
    He just wanna teriffy his rivals …

  • K. Shahzad

    Ahhh – now they are putting this on Google, don’t they realize how useful the Google is.

    Its the only most reliable search engine and no one even comes near to it in terms of quality of search results. If our incompetent government ends up blocking a service like Google, country will only lose stuff.

    I had never thought our country would be lead by incompetent people like Rehman Malik. Who can’t do a thing in fixing the terror situation in Karachi and blame Google/youtube for country’s terror issues.

  • All Ok but and Rehman Malik asking right BUT Google and other will not give any data to Pakistan. as we are Pakistani not Indian , if we was from India then all helps India ………

    So think what happening with us.

    “Pakistan’s interior minister Rehman Malik warns Google, Gmail and YouTube. He also points towards Skype in a passing reference to Mumbai Attacks.”

  • Gulfam Mustafa

    I strongly support the stand of Pakistan’s government. Google must follow Pakistan’s law if it wishes to continue operations in this country. We don’t want just another US joint to rule over us.

  • muhammad hashim

    asslamaokum mear khayal hia k ueah bhoot accha

    system hia 1 kushhaal pakistan k liye

  • Hafeez Saeed

    As we speak, suspected 2008 Mumbai terrorist mastermind Hafeez Saeed is using this Gmail account:

    [email protected]

    Surely, this could be helpful in bringing this individual to justice.

  • Christopher Silas

    I met a genius who helped me out when my email was hacked by some black mailers. He hacked into the email and completely
    shut them out in less than 24hours. I don’t know how he did it but he did. Contact him on his email if you need his
    services Email- [email protected]