ISLAMABAD – Fears have been upraised over the possibility of the entire database of Pakistani nationals falling into the hands of hostile foreign spy agencies CIA, RAW and Mossad, through a leak, warned by the country’s foremost intelligence agency ISI.
The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has shared its trepidations with the National Data base and Registration Authority (NADRA) chief.
An ISI report said, “We the agency can’t rule out the possibility of leakage of sensitive database [of Pakistanis] to hostile agencies, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Mossad.”
The doubt is based on the ground that “the thumb-digitiser system the registration body uses was purchased from a French company of Israeli origin.
Worth around $10 million, the Automatic Finger Print Identification System (AFIS) was purchased by NADRA from a French company, Segem, in 2004.
Now, the ISI has claimed that the French-based company is reportedly of Israeli origin.
Pakistan is among a few countries that do not recognize Israel as a ‘legitimate state’ and officially there exists no diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Now NADRA has been advised by the agency to make efforts to develop indigenous software/hardware solutions and still, if needed, such procurements in future should be made from reliable and friendly countries rather than rival countries.
However, an official of the media department, who wished not to be named, said, “NADRA neither denies nor confirms receipt of the report from the ISI over the issue.”
“NADRA database is a closed one, that is, it is not available on the internet. So, there are no chances of hacking or leaking.”
A senior technical expert claimed, in 2004, he said, NADRA obtained security clearance of the ISI before making this purchase from the French firm. “Indeed, “Segem” was the only firm until 2004 dealing in such software. In international market, there was no other finger print recognition system available in the world”.
The expert said Segem now worked under the name Segem Morpho, which he claimed, was Pakistan Army’s dealer as well.