The federal defence ministry's explanation to the court on how audio leaks occurred included the possibility of artificial intelligence being used to mimic the voices of individuals heard in purported audio calls, which were then leaked to the media.
Moreover, the ministry explained that FIA could be asked to request relevant social media companies for records of relevant calls, given its legal authorisation to seek such data.
This was disclosed as a statement submitted to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) by the federal defence ministry earlier in the month, which emerged on Tuesday. It contained six explanations and suggestions for pursuing the audio leaks case.
The first explanation noted that various tools allow calls to be recorded on smartphones. "These tools are cheap and easily available for anyone to buy," the ministry claimed.
"Moreover, various groups provide paid services under which they claim to steal data from devices through various means," it added.
A second possibility, it explained, was that callers could also record each other's conversations/calls while using the speakerphone functionality, and later, this recording could be leaked or hacked.
The third possibility, the ministry said, was to use artificial intelligence to mimic.
"With the advancement of artificial intelligence, there are various tools available which can alter the voice and change the content of any conversation. These tools can be used to mimic someone," the ministry said.
The ministry also said it was technically impossible for anyone snooping to determine with whom a call is being held.
"Being encrypted traffic, technically it is not possible to ascertain the source, only social media platforms can provide information [about the caller]."
The defence ministry further informed the court that under the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act 2016 (PECA), the Federal Investigation Agency's (FIA) Cyber Crime Wing is the designated agency to probe cyber crimes. Under section 35 of PECA, FIA has the power to access or demand any information in readable and comprehensive format or plain version from service providers, including social media platforms.
The ministry suggested that the court direct FIA's cyber crime wing to investigate the matter further.