Thursday, July 23, 2009

Monitoring SMS, emails: cellular companies short of capability, mechanism

Pin It ISLAMABAD (July 23 2009): Pakistani cellular companies are short of capability or mechanism to "either filter or monitor" all the SMS and email traffic, as the number of the messages crosses millions on a daily basis, the APP reliably learnt. Resultantly, the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) would launch an investigation into the matter, only if they received a complaint by a citizen, as each and every SMS or email cannot be monitored.

"No sir, we don't have the required mechanism in place - both the hardware and software that can monitor and then filter out SMS traffic," an official of a leading cellular company informed APP on Wednesday.

However, the official said that the company could track all the voice and data traffic of the GSM network, but that would require extra features to be added in the systems, which are not there at this point of time. "This would require millions of dollars to be pumped into the system," he remarked. When contacted to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) official regarding the tracking of Emails, also gave a nod to the version of the cellular company official.

"The websites that contain inappropriate content can be taken down, by requesting the respective host. However, tracking millions of emails is not an easy job and needs technical assistance as well as human resources," added the official. When contacted, the Telenor spokesperson, Syed Hasnat Masood, who is also Director Corporate Communication and Responsibility of the company, said that the company was yet to receive any details from the government.

"Yes, I have heard about the Ordinance through the media. However, we are yet to receive the details of the Ordinance on the matter related to monitoring, or action against obnoxious calls, SMSs and emails. Therefore, we are unable to comment for now. Kindly contact PTA for any further information on the subject," he added.

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