PTA dismisses reports of centralized DNS control

The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) on Tuesday rejected reports by a section of the media regarding the new domain name system (DNS), saying it had not implemented centralized DNS control.

“It is clarified that PTA has only implemented illegal content blocking automation as mandated by PTA under PECA 37,” said a statement issued by the authority.

The Domain Name System (DNS) is the hierarchical, decentralized naming system used to identify computers or other devices such as cell phones and tablets accessible through the Internet.

Contrary to claims, he said he did not have centralized DNS control in place where all resolutions would be done centrally by PTA. Instead, the resolution will be done on the ISP side, he added.

“The blocking of illegal content was already underway, but to improve efficiency, a process of automation through domain name resolution at the ISP level was implemented under GoP policy guidelines. [government of Pakistan]. This was done in full consultation and deliberation with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Pakistan.

Also read: PTA introduces system to block obscene content

The PTA further clarified that the recent development will have “no effect on increasing the cost of internet services, no impact on slowing down the internet, or no implication on citizens’ privacy, as erroneously described by some media”.

“Furthermore, this will have no effect on current agreements with Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). Given the position stated above, all speculation related to the process should be put to rest.

In April, the authority announced the establishment of a central domain name system (CDNS) for the prevention of immoral content specified in Article 37 of the Law on the Prevention of Electronic Crimes (Peca 2016).

The CDNS, he said in a statement, will provide immediate, uninterrupted and automatic blocking of illegal content.

The inauguration of this mechanism took place at the headquarters of the PTA, Islamabad. The system was put in place after months of joint efforts and cooperation from the telecom industry and other stakeholders, according to the PTA statement.

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