The US is engaged in one of the most gargantuan efforts ever, of one country carrying out e-surveillance of another, on Pakistan. According to documents available with The Guardian, the prestigious British newspaper, the USA has obtained 13.5 billion reports from Pakistan, exceeded only by over 14 billion obtained from Iran, and followed by 12.7 billion obtained from Jordan. Apart from Pakistan and Jordan, the highest numbers of reports have been obtained from Egypt and India. That militants use electronic means to communicate is well known, as can be seen from the recent one-day closures of the mobile phone networks. However, this has enabled a massive invasion of privacy. It is also worth noting that the revelation of the existence of Boundless Informant comes as the National Security Agency claims it neither collects any information on Americans, nor has the technological ability to monitor the number of American communications it has monitored.

That it has a programme allowing it to monitor the number of communications monitored from other countries indicates that it could have provided this information. However, while Pakistan may be an ally, its people are being spied on. Along with the people, the government will be under surveillance. Considering the past records of the Pakistani state, this obtaining of information might well be used to trace political opponent. Not just internationally, but domestically too, the US has come under fire for monitoring phone call records, which have caused a furore in the US press as well.

The incoming government should note that this problem is not only a challenge, but a failure of the Pakistani government to protect it's citizens from surveillance. Therefore, it should not only make very clear to the USA its concerns, but it should inform the main email providers that unless they respect the privacy of their Pakistani clients, legal action may have to be initiated against them. The Internet was not meant to facilitate militants, but such intrusive and indiscriminate surveillance by the state represents a violation of individual privacy, as well as of overbearing, broadly spread suspicion, without any explanation. The government must investigate the matter thoroughly.