Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Azam Khan Swati, has informed the Senate that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has not signed any contract to monitor Internet traffic with any Mobile service vendor. The authority hasn’t spent public money on any such projects either, he added.
While replying to a question in the Senate, the minister said that PTA has directed the telecom industry to set up a suitable technical solution which can allow to monitor, analyze, and curb the grey traffic under the statutory and policy obligations.
“The said monitoring system would be called Web Monitoring System (WMS). The contract was signed between relevant telecom operators and the vendor without the involvement of public money,” said the minister.
All Long Distance and International (LDI) licenses, Submarine Cable Landing Station licenses, and Cellular Mobile Operators (CMO) have been sharing the system’s cost as per their regulatory duties.
The minister said that to address security concerns, the PTA has achieved undertaking from Inbox Business Technologies and the manufacturer company Sandvine Inc., USA, regarding any possible involvement of hostile element.
He added that the vendor is obligated under ISO 27001 international standards to get the system certified. Moreover, a security agency has been engaged to undertake the system’s security audit to identify loopholes and vulnerabilities in the system.
Swati apprised the Senate that a strict clause about material and system breach has been added in the contract to further ensure the security. In case of a breach, the contract will be terminated.
Answering another question, the minister said that PTA checked the Power Level of Base Transreceiver Station (BTS) (towers) as per the regulations along with Frequency Allocation Board (FAB).
He said that the BTS (towers) of all Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) and Wireless Local Loop Operators (WLLOs) have been following the prescribed limits in power transmission and thus, are not detrimental to human health.