Blackberry Finally Leaving Pakistan

June 10, 2016

Blackberry announces that it is once again leaving Pakistan due to its moni­toring data demands. The organization recently approved the termination of all business proceedings in Pakistan. In July, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) announced that it would shutter the company starting December 1st. Blackberry has been relatively silent during the time following the announce­ment from the PTA, however now that it has released its first Android handset, it has confirmed that it is leaving the coun­try. According to Blackberry COO Marty Beard “The truth is that the Pakistani gov­ernment wanted the ability to monitor all BlackBerry Enterprise Service traffic in the country, including every BES e-mail and BES BBM message. But BlackBerry will not comply with that sort of directive. 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.

Pakistan’s demand was not a question of public safety; we are more than hap­py to assist law enforcement agencies in investigations of criminal activity. Rather, Pakistan was essentially demanding unfet­tered access to all of our BES customers’ information. The privacy of our customers is paramount to BlackBerry, and we will not compromise that principle” .

Blackberry has also confirmed that it is not only removing its Blackberry Enter­prise Service (BES), it is also removing its Blackberry Internet Services, which came as news to the Pakistan government. Blackberry is stopping all services and re­moving any support in efforts to show its commitment to user privacy. The organi­zation has prided itself on its privacy and security, which has generally been a major selling point for the organization. It isn’t clear how many Pakistani customers the withdrawal will effect, however, Pakistan has not been a major source of revenue for the company in a number of years. Albeit, this move does show Blackberry consumers that the organization values data and security. This move may prove to be a positive decision for blackberry, long term followers note that data securi­ty were not always a foremost priority of the company.

Blackberry’s CEO cautions customers that the request from the Pakistani gov­ernment was not one in regards to public safety, as the government was requesting specific data from all of its customers and not just residents of Pakistan.

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