Pakistan allows BlackBerry to continue services

KARACHI: Pakistan government has dropped its request for access to BlackBerry enterprise server e-mail and messaging content and rescinded the company’s shutdown order in the country, said the company’s statement.

“After productive discussions, the government of Pakistan has dropped its request…and the BlackBerry has decided to remain in the Pakistan market,” the statement said.

The statement, quoting Marty Beard, Chief Operating Officer at BlackBerry, said the company would look forward to serving the Pakistani market for years to come.

“We are grateful to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and the Pakistani government for accepting BlackBerry’s position that we cannot provide the content of our customers’ BES traffic, nor will we provide any so-called backdoors to our BES servers,” Beard said.

BlackBerry encrypts data such as emails and its BlackBerry messenger messages sent between a user’s phone and public networks, ensuring greater privacy for users but making it difficult for police and intelligence agencies to track down.

The state-run PTA, in July demanded BlackBerry to give it an access to its BlackBerry enterprise services or shut it down by November 30.

Later, the PTA suggested a one-month extension to that deadline. The government wants an access to maintain its security, with police saying criminals use secure communications like those provided by BlackBerry.  There are 4,000 to 5,000 BES customers in Pakistan.

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