BlackBerry quits Pakistan over government surveillance demands

BlackBerry said it would stop operations in Pakistan after Nov. 30

BlackBerry has decided not operate in Pakistan after Nov. 30, rather than let the local government intercept communications on its enterprise services, the company said Monday.

The Pakistani government wanted the ability to monitor all BlackBerry Enterprise Service traffic in the country, including every BES e-mail and BES BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) message, BlackBerry's Chief Operating Officer Marty Beard wrote in a blog post on Monday.

BlackBerry has been under pressure in many countries including neighboring India to provide access to data on its enterprise services to law enforcement.

"We do not support 'back doors' granting open access to our customers’ information and have never done this anywhere in the world," Beard wrote.

BlackBerry's move is a response to a reported July notification by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to the country's mobile phone operators that BlackBerry’s BES servers would not be allowed to operate in the country from December “for security reasons.”

"Although the Pakistani government’s directive was aimed only at our BES servers, we have decided to exit the market altogether, because Pakistan’s demand for open access to monitor a significant swath of our customers’ communications within its borders left us no choice but to exit the country entirely," Beard wrote.

A PTA spokesman did not immediately comment.

Civil rights group Bytes for All, Pakistan posted on its site in July a leaked document of minutes of a PTA meeting, which advised operators Pakistan Mobile Company (Mobilink), Pakistan Telecom Mobile (Ufone) and Telenor Pakistan to ensure that all BES connections are closed on or before Nov. 30, 2015. The document cited "serious security concerns."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?