Sunday, October 1, 2023

Why PTA VPN Ban Hurts Everyone

Recently, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said that it would Ban on any method used to hide or encrypt electronic communications via VPN. As a result, the authority has put out a notice asking VPN users to register their services for legal reasons.

With a VPN or virtual private network, you can make your online connection more private and secure. This keeps your personal information safe by making it look like you are using the internet from a different place.

PTA says that Any business, government agency, diplomatic mission, or independent contractor planning to use a virtual private network (VPN) after this notice must register their VPN service. Until October 31, 2022, to comply, or else their VPN access is always dropping immediately.

The PTA’s warning does not explain what the word “disruption” means. Will private VPNs also require users to sign up? Would VPNs that do not sign up stop working after the specific date? One can’t say.

Users all over the internet reacted strongly negatively to this, and with good reason. A virtual private network (VPN) gives you more benefits than just protecting your privacy while you’re online. It gives you full access to content that isn’t able in your country, for example. In Pakistan, there is a dearth of useful online resources. Users regularly experience disruptions to their access to apps like PUBG Mobile and TikTok. Because of this, many people are turning to virtual private networks (VPNs).

With a VPN, you can access more content on Netflix and other streaming services. Since PTA recently blocked VoIP services in Pakistan. Users of communication apps like Discord and games like Overwatch, and dozens of others that rely on such services have had to turn to virtual private networks (VPN).

The Trouble with Complete Bans

PTA’s approach is problematic because it puts its own security and financial interests ahead of people’s constitutionally protected rights to privacy, security, and unrestricted internet use. In the past, whenever Pakistan had a problem with technology. The government (PTA) just ban everything, even things that were perfectly fine to use via VPN.

All it does is bring back memories of being in school and having the whole class get in trouble because of one bad apple.

The Internet should be seen as a free zone where anyone can go and talk to anyone else without any kind of censorship or other barriers. Also, a more effective strategy for bans and disruptions is needed. One that is more focused on the people who could be dangerous instead of everyone in the country.

Read more: IT sector to contribute 13% of GDP by 2025: MoITT

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