BlackBerry to shut down its operations in Pakistan on Dec 30, 2015

BlackBerry to shut down its operations in Pakistan on Dec 30, 2015

In a blog post published on Monday, Canadian smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry said that it will shutter its operation in Pakistan at the end of the year, in compliance with a shutdown order issued by the Pakistani government.

BlackBerry has been given a December 30, 2015 deadline by the Pakistan’s government to withdraw from the country, if it does not agree to the governmental order of monitoring BlackBerry Enterprise Services (BES) -- including encrypted emails and BBM messages -- which are sent and received in the country.

Confirming BlackBerry’s withdrawal from Pakistan on December 30, 2015, the company’s Chief Operating Officer Marty Beard said that complying with Pakistani Telecommunications Authority’s BES traffic-monitoring demands would amount to a massive invasion of user privacy.

Asserting that Blackberry enforces a blanket ban on permitting so-called "backdoor" access to customer data anywhere in the world, Beard said, about BlackBerry’s imminent shut down in Pakistan: "The truth is that the Pakistani government wanted the ability to monitor all BlackBerry BES traffic in the country, including every BES email and BES BBM message. But BlackBerry will not comply with that sort of directive."

Though Beard acknowledged the fact that Pakistan is an “important market” and BlackBerry has “valued customers” there, he also added alongside that “remaining in Pakistan would have meant forfeiting our commitment to protect our users' privacy. That is a compromise we are not willing to make.”

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