On May 13th, terrorists shot down at least 45 people belonging to Shia Ismaili community inside a bus near Safoora Chowrangi in Sacchal, Karachi. The suspects of the attack are currently going through the Anti-Terrorism Courts (ATC). The government has determined that this attack was not carried out with the use of a mobile SIM, but rather through a VoIP Software called Talkray. The terrorists evaded detection on the radar by using VoIP instead of SIM’s. It seems that despite measures being taken to reduce the threat of SIM’s being misused, terrorists are still able to find ways to use technology for all the wrong reasons.
“The accused persons did not use any mobile SIM for their terrorist activities, they used Talkray, a VoIP software for communication,” according to a report published on June 30th which was prepared by the police chief and further submitted to the proper authorities. The report further indicated that the terrorists are learning how to better adopt technology for their ill intentions. “All terrorists are highly educated with good financial background and are proficient in using social media network and internet technology.”
The issue of VoIP in Sindh has existed as early as 2013, where the Sindh Government proposed a 3-month ban on the popular messaging and VoIP applications including WhatsApp, Viber, and Skype. People opposing the ban suggested that the Government improve their equipment to better combat the threat. 3 years on, the government is still no better equipped to handle these threats than it was before.
The new evidence can make the Sindh government revisit their initial idea of implementing a ban on VoIP applications. While the ban would be counter-productive, albeit “cost effective”, the government would be wise to spend more money on improving the infrastructure in order to prevent these incidents. The first step in the right direction will be for authorities to monitor the free Wi-Fi internet being deployed in Karachi in the coming months.
Let’s wait and see what the Sindh government has in plans regarding the issue of VoIP misuse. Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.