Leaks from PM Office/House: High-powered probe committee to meet tomorrow

October 06, 2022

Government also decided to procure 150 new tablets for ministers to ensure security of cabinet summaries

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A file photo of the Prime Minister's House. — Government of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: A high-powered committee to probe the audio leaks will hold its maiden meeting tomorrow (Friday). It will first determine whether it is a breach of cyber security or just bugging done by placing devices to get recordings of the PM’s Office/House.

Top official sources confirmed to a select group of reporters here on Wednesday in background discussions that the committee constituted by the prime minister under the supervision of interior minister was scheduled to meet on Wednesday, but the meeting was postponed. It was scheduled again for Thursday (today) but was re-scheduled for Friday (tomorrow) owing to the joint sitting of parliament.

This committee comprised federal ministers as members and DG ISI or his representative, DG IB and co-opted members from the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA), FIA, ISI and secretary National Telecommunications and Information Security Board (NTISB). It will revisit the existing e-safety and cyber securities guidelines, broadly evaluate the existing capacity and vulnerabilities of government departments, reassess the risk associated with various electronic gadgets such as tablets, smartphones, laptops, wifi and other cyber devices and suggest measures to develop resilience of government offices against cyber attacks.

The committee will submit short and medium-term recommendations for securing the sensitive data and information technology environment of important ministries and offices of strategic importance such as the SBP, SECP, Nadra and regulatory bodies with the mandate to prepare a report within 15 days. It will also prepare a draft legal framework for developing a robust and secure cyber ecosystem that ensures seamless cyber security of government offices.

The sources said the committee would take a decision whether it was a breach of cyber security or just bugging was done for the purpose of recording audios which were being leaked now. They said experts would present their viewpoint for helping the committee reach solid conclusions and then recommendations would be finalised to ensure foolproof security for future arrangements.

The government has also decided to procure 150 new tablets for ministers to ensure security of cabinet summaries. Earlier, it was alleged that the tablets under the use of cabinet ministers had been developed by Indians, raising concerns that there might be a breach of security. However, the Ministry of Information Technology undertook an internal inquiry and found that no security protocols were breached to get access related to information through these tablets.

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