Blackberry Winds up Services from Pakistan, Refused to Share Customer Data

Written by  Published by:Pakistan Views Monday, 30 November 2015 18:08

Blackberry’s Chief Operating Officer announced that the company will no longer operate in Pakistan parallel to Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) intention to shut down Blackberry Enterprise Services (BES) in the country for “security reasons.”

It was widely believed that Blackberry’s encrypted data – secure email and messaging – was inhibiting government and intelligence agencies from collecting user information. The terse statement from PTA – directing telecos to ensure Blackberry services are blocked by the end of November – suggested clear and unflinching orders had come from above.

Before PTA could shut Blackberry down, the company has decided to take matters into its own hands. Marty Beard, Blackberry’s Chief Operating Officer, has announced that the company will no longer operate in Pakistan.

Marty, citing Pakistan as an “important market,” says the government wanted unfettered access to all BES customers’ information and the ability to monitor traffic, including emails, data, and BBM messages.

That, he outlines, is a violation of Blackberry’s commitment to safeguarding user data and respecting privacy. Under no circumstances will that principle be violated.

“As we have said many times, we do not support ‘back doors’ granting open access to our customers’ information and have never done this anywhere in the world,” says Marty.

While PTA’s directive was to simply block BES, Blackberry says it will leave the country altogether, including its Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) consumer business. Marty explains that the Pakistan government’s demands had “left them with no choice.”

This article originally appeared on Tech in Asia

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