Pakistan bans mobile phones during official meetings

Fearing information leaks, the Pakistani government has barred the use of mobile phones during official meetings.

The National Telecom and Information Technology Security Board cautioned that mobile phones could be used for dubious purposes if not handled carefully by senior officials, reported Dawn.

The board noted that there are now multiple features like data storage, voice and SMS chatting, e-business and banking management, faster broadband applications and many other social and global internet applications.

Calling the mobile phone a double edge weapon, with sophisticated communication tools, the board noted it could be put to use both for positive and negative purposes.

It also noted that most mobile phones have inbuilt camera facility can be used for recording sensitive documents or data and hence may result in serious security lapses.

Approximately 90 percent of Pakistanis live within areas that have cell phone coverage and more than half of all Pakistanis have access to a cell phone. With 108 million mobile subscribers -- out of a total 180 million-plus population -- in April 2011, Pakistan has the highest mobile penetration rate in the South Asian region.

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