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On January 24, 2024, the @IntelConsortium shared a post that stirred up a storm, claiming a connection between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and India’s RAW intelligence agency. The post alleged that PTI’s General Election 2024 website was operated from Mumbai, Maharashtra, raising eyebrows and concerns. However, a community note under the post challenged this assertion, labeling it as “misleading.”

How the Internet Works:

To understand the scenario, it’s crucial to grasp the basics of how the internet operates. When you access a website, your data doesn’t take a direct route to the server; instead, it follows a series of nodes and servers across the globe. This process is known as “internet routing.

In the case of Pakistan, the country may lack servers from multinational companies like Amazon, Cloudflare, or Azure. To bridge this gap, these companies often place their servers in nearby countries. When you visit a website hosted by a multinational company, the data travels to the nearest server location, giving the impression of the site operating from that region.

The AWS Factor:

Amazon Web Services (AWS), a prominent American multinational company, is renowned for its robust security and performance. In this case, the PTI website’s hosting was done through Amazon, which has servers in India, specifically in Mumbai and Hyderabad.

The Visual Trace Route:

A visual trace route allows us to trace the path that data takes from the source (user) to the destination (server). In the context of PTI’s website, the data is routed from Pakistan to India before reaching the servers in the USA, where Amazon’s main infrastructure is located.

Countering the Claims:

The community note disputing the claims emphasizes that any site hosted on AWS reflects the server location and IP address of the local server in that region. In simple terms, when a website is hosted on AWS servers in India, the traffic appears to originate from India due to the presence of these servers.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the controversy surrounding the alleged PTI-RAW connection can be attributed to a misunderstanding of how internet routing works. The PTI website’s hosting on Amazon’s servers in India does not imply a direct connection to India’s intelligence agency but rather reflects the standard practice of utilizing nearby server nodes for efficient data transfer. It is essential to approach such claims with a nuanced understanding of internet infrastructure to avoid misleading interpretations.

The Visual Trace Route:

A visual trace route allows us to trace the path that data takes from the source (user) to the destination (server). In the context of PTI’s website, the data is routed from Pakistan to India before reaching the servers in the USA, where Amazon’s main infrastructure is located.

 

Countering the Claims:

The community note disputing the claims emphasizes that any site hosted on AWS reflects the server location and IP address of the local server in that region. In simple terms, when a website is hosted on AWS servers in India, the traffic appears to originate from India due to the presence of these servers.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the controversy surrounding the alleged PTI-RAW connection can be attributed to a misunderstanding of how internet routing works. The PTI website’s hosting on Amazon’s servers in India does not imply a direct connection to India’s intelligence agency but rather reflects the standard practice of utilizing nearby server nodes for efficient data transfer. It is essential to approach such claims with a nuanced understanding of internet infrastructure to avoid misleading interpretations.