The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has issued a public notice stating that all users must register their Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) by the end of June. Failing to do so could result in IP addresses being blacklisted and other “legal actions,” being taken against users.
Sources have confirmed that many corporate connections have been found to be using VPNs to generate grey traffic and/or provide illegal or unregistered Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. These connections were allegedly working as call centres and providing data entry operational services and have since been blocked by the PTA.
Grey Traffic is defined as the use of illegal telephone exchanges which bypass the legal route to make international calls. Presently, several companies are running call centres in Pakistan using VPNs to make it look like they are in the US (or any other country).
The PTA aims to eliminate Grey Traffic in Pakistan as soon as possible and have started blacklisting and blocking many corporate clients of specific Internet Service Providers (ISPs). These ISP have been notified of the illegal activities and have been instructed to notify their clients. These clients must then, either register their VPNs with the PTA before the 30th of June or face the disconnection of their services alongside other legal actions.
The public notice issued states that the, “Use of any mode of communication such as VPN by means of which communication becomes hidden or encrypted is a violation of PTA regulations.” Users are urged to, “register their VPN with PTA through their respective Internet service provider till 30-06-2020.” The full public notice is available on the PTA website.