Web browsing encryption software cannot be used without special permission, warns authority
Pakistan has barred Internet users in the country from using virtual private networks or VPNs.
VPN is an encryption software that is used by Internet users to access banned websites and send messages without being detected.
The government insists the ban is a move against the misuse of the Internet by terrorists.
The Guardian reported that the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority has sent a legal notice to all internet providers (ISPs) that orders them to inform authorities if they detect any customer using VPNs.
The notice said that use of "all such mechanisms including EVPNs [encrypted virtual private networks] which conceal communication to the extent that prohibits monitoring" must be reported to authorities.
The Guardian said that all Internet traffic in Pakistan travels through the Pakistan Internet Exchange, which can be intercepted by the military and civil intelligence agencies.
The notice added that special permission is to sought to use such software. Usually banks use encryption software to communicate securely with their customers.
Internet regulation is growing in Pakistan.
Last year, the country banned Facebook for months over a controversy involving the cartoon of the prophet Muhammad.
In May, China plugged loopholes in its Internet networks in a crack down on VPNs.
Users told The Guardian that Internet connections via China Telecom and China Unicom became "unstable" while using a VPN to reach overseas IP addresses.
Universities and corporate connections in China seem to be the prime targets, as broadband connections seem to be unaffected.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences has asked users to avoid using "circumvention tools to get access to illegal content" after being blacklisted by the public security bureau.