By Aqeel Shigri/ISLAMABAD
It is evident that the technology has dramatically progressed and affecting the socioeconomics of this world dominated by the fastest-growing social media. The way of living, thinking and setting priorities have thoroughly changed. In the past, one single line message used to reach in days & months, now it’s just a matter of single click.
The harsh truth is that this “Technology Revolution” which saved millions have also killed millions. In Pakistan, the growth of mobile phones and internet is phenomenal but somewhat bewildering. Where it benefits, millions across the globe also created the convenience for terrorism and organised crimes network.
The recent news of registration of the devices through IMEI number made the storm of worries for the businessmen involved in telecom and technology business. Its good initiative but reasonably late as this should have been done long time ago when our market was flooding with cellular operators and mobile devices in the country without any regulations.
Focusing on the tax collection from these devices, and took this immediate step, more important effort should be on controlling the terrorist activities that have caused huge damaged to innocent lives and economyof our motherland. Smuggled and stolen devices are the lethal and primary weapon for any criminal network.
As power comes with responsibility, evolution comes with threats, and convenience comes along with troublesomeness. The day we connected to cellular andinternet network, it totally changed the pattern of our lives and our way of communications to the world.
Without going into the details of technological advancement, Let’s talk about the cell phones growth in Pakistan, it is the most powerfulcommunication tool for people and also a weapon for any criminal organisation, they don’t need state-of-the-art guns but just phone connections. The authorities in Pakistan keepdevelopingsystems and procedures to control this unleashed technology beast, but I believe it’s still lacking and need to do more.
PTA (Pakistan Telecom Authority) has successfully done marvellous amendments and procedures to accomplish the Mobile and internet connections monitoring, but it seems there are many loose ends in the procedure.Where each connection is registered with operators and activated through PTA verifications process, then why not mobile phone sets?
The system is already placed in these devices and we are somehow utilizing it also, IMEI (The International Mobile Equipment Identity) is a number, usually unique, to identify mobile phones, as well as some satellite phones. The IMEI number is used by a GSM network to identify valid devices and therefore can be used for stopping a stolen phone from accessing that network, but here millions of smuggled and snatched phone sets available in Pakistan and being sold in the open market.
There area DATABASE and MONITORING or INVENTORY tools for these devices. These IMEI number should be registered with a cellular number, everytime you change the phone set, both databasesneed to be maintained and monitored.
IMEI and mobile numbers are frequently used by our law enforcement agency to resolve and investigate crimes, if authorities and operators can manage eachand every device which has anactive connection, then we can achieve a lot.
Mobile phones are frequently being used to in general all forms of crimes, even now most of the crimes are resolved with the help of mobile numbers and devices IMEIs, it’s a major part of the investigation now and extremely successful.
In developed parts of the worlds like Europe and America, they worked and researched on crime with technology and developed mature and secure procedures and systems especially for Mobiles and internet connections, they have worked and developed a strongdatabase of each and every person living or enter their soil.
Instead of blocking all the unregistered devices suddenly, we need to first locate the unregistered devices, track them, investigate them and register them. That would be lead to the most filtered and authorised database.
The document available over PTA website is definitely researched and excellent document, which covers almost all aspect of the possible scenario. Now the question is when and how it will go further?
Will it be the smooth process for millions of customers and have not a negative effect on telecom business? We believe it all depends upon the process, the cooperation of MNOs and majorly consumers, who believe in the safe and secure country. This will be the paradigm shift of the country’s security challenges and should be implemented without further delays. (Note: Writer is an expert of corporate communications)