All Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have been directed by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to prevent internet users from using technology that would allow them to privately browse the internet.
According to a PTA spokesman the directive was intended only to stop militants from using secure internet connections to communicate with each other. However he admitted that this was only possible by preventing all internet users in Pakistan from using virtual private networks (VPNs), according to the Express Tribune newspaper.
With a VPN two or more users can share data without it being monitored by anyone else.
The PTA, meanwhile, is coming down more vigorously on offending sites. The website of Rolling Stone, a pop-culture and politics magazine has been blocked since July. Though the PTA spokesman confirmed the website had been blocked he said he was not aware of he reason behind the action.
Meanwhile, in Nepal, even as the number of subscribers dipped 23 per cent last fiscal year, internet service providers (ISPs) claimed they had recorded a growth in revenue. They say the fall in numbers was due to the exit of passive users.
According to statistics of Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA), a total of 65,000 subscribers were registered under ISPs till the end of 2009-10, which fell to 52,527 by the end of last fiscal year.
In the period, the number of dial-up users had declined by 33 per cent whereas the number of wireless users had gone up by more than 70 per cent, registering over 10,000 subscribers in a year.