Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI was allowed to ‘intercept’ phone calls and messages

The Pakistani government has allowed the ISI, the army’s secret agency, to ‘intercept’ phone calls and messages.

According to a notification issued on July 8, the federal government has given this authority to ISI officers under Section 54 of the Pakistan Telecommunication Act, 1996.

The decision has been taken in the interest of national security and in view of crime concerns, the notification said.

The government says that the officers who will be designated by the secret agency for the process of recording or listening to calls will not be below 18 grade.

This decision on behalf of the government of Pakistan has come at a time when the case of ex-prime minister Imran Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi disclosing her conversation with her lawyer is under hearing in the Islamabad High Court.

During the hearing of this matter, it has also come to light that telecom companies in Pakistan provide customer data to secret agencies under a specific system called the ‘Lawful Intercept Management System‘.

In its order in this case, the court said that it was informed that the telecom companies operating in the country had given Pakistani secret services access to the phone calls, messages, and other data of two percent (about 4 million) of their customers. Access is given through the Intercept Management System’.

The court in its order in this case also wrote that the government of Pakistan and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had told the court that no agency was allowed to monitor and the government of Pakistan submitted a report to the court. Who is responsible for installing a ‘lawful intercept management system’ that is interfering in the private life of citizens?

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