Feeds

Pakistani phone-buyers will need skin in the game with biometric buying plan

Plan to stamp out illegal SIMS will mean fingerprinting when bagging a new mobe

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Mobile phone operators in Pakistan have been told they have around a month to ensure all of their outlets are equipped with biometric thumb scanners, in a renewed bid to eliminate illegal SIMs.

The scanners must be installed by December 1st in Karachi and December 20th nationwide, the authorities decided last week, according to local telecoms site Propakistani.

The scanned thumbprint of the national ID card (CNIC) holder will apparently be matched with that held by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) for immediate identity verification prior to purchase.

The government-backed Universal Service Fund (USF) is thought to be part-subsidising the cost of the roll-out, although it could be a tall order to get machines into the 250,000+ retail outlets, service centres and franchises selling SIMs nationwide in time.

However, commentators have apparently argued that the plans will only succeed in cleaning up Pakistan’s illegal SIM card problem if existing as well as new SIMs are verified and linked biometrically.

With mobile subscribers pushing 130 million in Pakistan, this would be a huge undertaking, however the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) usually gets its way when it comes to industry regulation.

It has forced the blocking of tens of thousands of web sites at a time in the past for religious and moral reasons and a year ago threatened to ban mobile packages offering cheap late night calls because they went against “social norms”.

The current biometric push, however, springs from a fear that untraceable SIMs are a national security threat because they can be used by terrorists to communicate and trigger bombs anonymously. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.