Filtering SMS, What Next? Emails? Calls?

By now, I suppose everyone is familiar with this new determination issued by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority under which mobile phone companies are ordered to setup a system to filter SMS communication to block at least 1,500 keywords from English and Urdu language.

ad_141011This action is likely to protect those who get abusive text messages from random unknown numbers, which is a good thing.

Good indeed, however, don’t we have SMS/Call block services in place to tackle such situations? You can check out this image on right side for details.

While we also know that PTA has told all operators to aggressively deal with such obnoxious callers. Even it asked operators to maintain a list of black listed customers and never sell them SIMs again.

Having said this, filtering SMS content means either PTA has failed to protect mobile customers from such offensive messages or there is something else going on behind the scenes.

In case PTA has given up with controlling abusive text messages, and is unable to confine cellular operators to take necessary measures for blocking offenders then one can easily translate this into a situation where PTA’s regulations aren’t implemented the way they are supposed to be.

I am afraid this SMS filtration regulation can go ugly, real ugly. Anyone from government will be come up and will have his/her share of inputting in the list of banned keywords, especially when we Pakistanis are so good at breaking laws.

Intercepting communication at this level is first of it’s kind regionally, even globally, I am wondering what PTA has in mind to filter next, probably telephonic conversations, our drawing rooms? or even bedrooms?

I believe PTA has reached a point where it should stop all this. It has given enough business to this firm, we must not risk our national interests beyond this point or we won’t be able to pay the price for the surveillance we have opted our selves.

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