ISI conditionally authorised to ‘intercept and trace’ calls, messages
ISLAMABAD: (Suno News) The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has formally empowered the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to intercept and trace calls in the “interest of national security”.

 It was revealed in a notification issued by the ministry. The authorisation was granted to the ISI under Section 54 of the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organisation) Act, 1996, as per the notification.

It reads, “In exercise of the powers conferred under Section 54 … the federal government in the interest of national security and in the apprehension of any offence, is pleased to authorise the officers not below the rank of grade 18 to be nominated from time to time by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to intercept calls and messages or to trace calls through any telecommunication system as envisaged under Section 54 of the Act.”

For details: Ban on X legitimate, aims at national security and public safety, govt tells SHC

In reaction to the notification, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said that granting “unlimited powers for phone tapping to authorities” was synonymous with a “lack of privacy and human rights.”

Former prime minister Imran Khan’s party said in a post on its official X account, “Lack of privacy and human rights is one big reason many companies are leaving Pakistan. SIFC initiative is already suffering, this will dent the mission further!”

Also Shireen Mazari, former human rights minister and PTI leader took to her X account and denounced the decision to empower the ISI to trace and intercept people’s calls and messages. She referred the move to George Orwell’s novel “1984”, which is about the use of censorship by totalitarian regimes to control information, manipulate reality, and suppress dissent.