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Who Are The Companies Working With Pakistani Authorities On Web Monitoring?

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Last week, online magazine Coda revealed that Pakistani authorities had made an agreement with Sandvine Incorporated, a network equipment company that was initially started in Ontario, Canada and is now based in California, USA – with offices around the world. Including Dubai and Bangalore.

Coda‘s report stated:

According to the agreement — a copy of which was exclusively shared with Coda — the contract is worth $18.5 million and dated December 12, 2018. The “web monitoring system” will use Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to monitor communications, measure and record traffic and call data on behalf of the country’s national telecommunications regulator, Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA).

The contract was signed by a number of parties, including Pakistan firm Inbox Business Technologies Ltd, which is acting as a local partner for Sandvine and Pakistan Telecommunication Company for “procurement of hardware, software and provision of related services for web monitoring system.”

Sandvine Incorporated has been described as a “controversial” business organization. Based on an investigation from Canada-based Citizen Lab last year, it appears that Sandvine is involved in providing its echnology solutions to governments known for repressive policies towards their populations – with Egypt, Syria and Turkey having been specifically mentioned in the media. These governments have extensive digital surveillance apparatuses, with few checks and balances on executive authority.

Sandvine is working with Pakistani authorities through its local partner Inbox Business Technologies Ltd. – started in 2001 and currently a well established seller of tech products in Pakistan.

We examine the capabilities of each of these two business organizations, Sandvine Incorporated and Inbox Business Technologies Ltd., based on information that they provide about their operations.

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Sandvine claims that its Active Network Intelligence solutions offer:

  • Inline traffic solutions that capture the most granular visibility and identification of all voice, video, and data traffic transiting operator networks
  • Behavioral, intent-based analytics that compare network, service, and subscriber behavior to identify areas of action
  • Closed-loop policies implemented to achieve closed-loop automation and intended quality of experience
  • Continuous innovation in automation/machine learning focused on use cases outcomes

Their Pakistani partners, Inbox Business Technologies Ltd., provide a wide variety of services to the public sector, industry and communications. Among their Digital Security and Intelligence services are the following solutions:

  • Threat monitoring and intelligence
  • Endpoint management
  • Vulnerability management
  • Platform management

With regards to endpoint management, the company informs potential clients:

We securely manage and continually monitor your endpoints giving you full visibility into how they are being used. Proactive adaptive security means less false positives and quicker identification and negation of compromised endpoints both of which bring down incident management costs. Our advanced endpoint management approach uses technology that breaks the exploit cycle of sophisticated attacks on endpoints utilizing the most advanced known cyber security techniques available.

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