Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Pakistan Tried to Create 'World's Most Powerful Surveillance System' by Illegally Tapping Undersea Internet Cables

Pakistan built a widespread illegal intelligence system with technology ….. The report highlights some of the prestigious privacy securing an international organization that Nokia Siemens Networks has been involved in building one of the world's most comprehensive illegal surveillance.  

The report says the country’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency hired intermediary companies to acquire spying toolkits from western and Chinese firms for domestic surveillance.

It also claims the ISI sought access to tap data from three of the four “landing sites” that pass through the country’s port city of Karachi, effectively giving it access to internet traffic worldwide. Pakistan was in talks with a European company in 2013 to acquire the technology, but it is not clear whether the deal went through – a fact the rights organisation said was troubling.

“These cables are going to route data through various countries and regions,” Matthew Rice, an advocacy officer for Privacy International, said. “Some will go from Europe to Africa and all the way to south-east Asia. From my reading that’s an explicit attempt to look at what’s going on.”Traffic from North America and regional rival India would also be routed via the cables, he said."These cables are going to route data through various countries and regions," Matthew Rice, an advocacy officer for Privacy International told AFP."Some will go from Europe to Africa and all the way to South-east Asia. From my reading, that's an explicit attempt to look at what's going on."

In its bid to increase its surveillance activities, ISI also hired several intermediary companies that provided it with the spying tools. Some of its 'interception equipment providers include Atis (Germany), Ericsson (Sweden), Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) / Trovicor and Huawei (China).Privacy International, which is dedicated to exposing governments and companies carrying out surveillance on public, said that Pakistan's ISI was abusing the surveillance system. 

"Pakistan's intelligence agencies have abused their communications surveillance powers, including by spying on opposition politicians and Supreme Court judges. Widespread Internet monitoring and censorship has also been used to target journalists, lawyers and activists," the report noted. The 55-page report noted that the data collection sought in the ISI's proposal "would rival some of the world's most powerful surveillance programmes" including those of US and Britain.(see link to PDF below)

Pakistan is yet to comment on the disclosure made by the group…..

Tipping the scales: Security & surveillance in Pakistan (PDF): https://www.privacyinternational.org/sites/default/files/PAKISTAN%20REPORT%20HIGH%20RES%2020150721_0.pdf
Privacy International Find out if GCHQ Illegally spy on you here: Did GCHQ illegally spy on you? | Privacy International