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Secure Mobile Voice calling for Cell Phone users in Pakistan?

askbajwaThis query is being forwarded to our local security expert based out of Lahore Mr. Fouad Bajwa who maintains AskBajwa.com [I await his response]

Considering the level of espionage that is undertaken by our authorities at times I believe Pakistani businessmen and citizens stand at a major disadvantage since our own government is resolutely committed at working against us under the excuse of ‘the interest of the state‘. We all must be aware that all our calls, SMS’s and Internet usage is being extensively monitored and tracked, to be used as and when needed against us. I personally don’t mind monitoring terrorism related activities but merely assuming that every Pakistani is a criminal and must be subjected to government espionage is an idiotic solution to the problem.

I ask this question more in line when I read this article on BlackberryCool reviewing CellCrypta secure mobile voice application for Blackberry and Symbian devices via VoIP – it comes at a hefty price tag of 2500 Euro – but it might be worth the investment for a viable business who prefers a high level of security.

cellcrypt-pakistan-dataCell Crypt on its coverage map has confirmed the availability of their secure connection services in India, but Pakistan remains “Not Confirmed“.

The question that needs to be asked – Is there any ‘legal means by which business in Pakistan can achieve a high level of security without going through bureaucratic red tape, if teh VoIP options by CellCrypt cannot used, what are other legal options that can be used to bypass espionage attempts by others including our own Government.


11 Comments

  • Farhan |

    Teeth , the best way to make 'secure' calls is through Skype, you can easily use on phones through a free software called Fring , available for almost all platforms ( except no VOIP on iPhone through Cell based network WiFi is required) .

    It uses Data network and works well on Warid EDGE .

    For it's level of security I quote from The Register UK

    " Skype in particular is a serious problem for spooks and cops. Being P2P, the network can't be accessed by the company providing it and the authorities can't gain access by that route. The company won't disclose details of its encryption, either, and isn't required to as it is Europe based. This lack of openness prompts many security pros to rubbish Skype on "security through obscurity" grounds: but nonetheless it remains a popular choice with those who think they might find themselves under surveillance. Rumour suggests that America's NSA may be able to break Skype encryption – assuming they have access to a given call or message – but nobody else."

    source : http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/12/nsa_offer

    So PTA and others in our land of the Pure don;t have NSA equivalent resources and you can easily chat away securely

  • Aamir Mughal |

    Dear Friends,

    Mobile phones/land line telephones were never secure in the past nor they will be secure in the future, no matter what you do. I have seen hi tech scanners [made by Siemens and National Panasonic] way in mid 90s when Mobile Phone Industry taking roots in Pakistan and these scanners were so advanced that you only needed a Personal Computer attached with these scanners and feed any cell number you want to monitor in PC and whenever that particular mobile number was used the scanner and computer and tape recorder attached with the computer automatically started the recording and that was in 90s and the same case was emails.

    Dily Dawn had published a news in 2002 that Pak Capital Exchange Karachi had the "Faciility" to check the traffic of email regularly without missing a beat.

    You just know how lethal these programs are?

    A Glimpse:

    NSA just one of many agencies spying on Americans

    http://paulwolf.blogspot.com/2006/01/nsa-just-one

  • blog |

    I would rather not ask it from a self acclaimed 'security expert' with no background

  • Zuhaib |

    Long ago I was working for a company that had an call center in Karachi and was having the problem of PakTel blocking all non-PakTel VOIP. They wanted to setup a way to get around it, and, one of the simple method we came up with was to use an VPN Bridge from US to Pakistan. VPN has some overhead, but, the traffic is masked and the data from Pakistan to US will look as VPN traffic not as VOIP, not till it reaches the US (or anywhere else).

    Their is other forums, this is just one we came up with before they went on to sign a deal with a local VOIP provider that was on the right side of PakTel.

    Skype is hard to track on its own, UNLESS its Skype itself that is handing your data over to a 3rd party. Check this out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skype#Privacy

  • khan rasheed |

    kidly you will help me to check some information

    if i will give you the some mobime number i need the full

    full name address in pakistan if it is ok please e mail to me that popel alwas call to my mobile phone

  • James Bradley |

    Your comment regarding Skype security cracked me up… Skype is not secure at all, US Govt has the capability to log all Skype calls and this technology for logging Skype traffic was exported to Pakistan as well. @Farhan – take your chances with Skype and lets see how long it takes before the guys in cowboy hats get you!

  • Mortal |

    @James. Seems that NSA is advising you on what they do. Most of the times the unknown nature of affairs trigger speculation and unnecessary assumption.

    If NSA is not doing it then it could be none other than Skype itself who might log all encrypted calls and the session key generated, that is exchanged between two parties. If the key is exchanged using public private key pair generated at random by the end user and private key is not recorded by Skype then it is not even possible for Skype to decrypt it other then exhaustively applying cryptanalytic techniques to break the private key or session key that of-course takes much more time and resources than simple decryption with known key.