Waterloo, April 29 (CINEWS): BlackBerry Ltd. formerly known as Research In Motion, has announced that it is ending operations in Pakistan in response to the Islamabad government’s demand to monitor messages and other data usage by Pakistani consumers.
BlackBerry COO Marty Beard explained more in a blog post: “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.”
Privacy and security of its smartphone and online business have been the biggest selling focus for BlackBerry ever since its founding.
The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) said in July last year that it would close down BlackBerry Enterprise Services (known as BES) by December 1 for “security reasons.” BlackBerry’s encryption of emails, BBM messages and other data could not be accessed in way by security officials. Pakistan said it was a matter of national security.
BlackBerry has refused to give the Pakistanis access to its servers or codes and has now said it would stop operations of its Enterprise Service as well as the Blackberry Internet Service.
“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 added.
“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,” said BlackBerry COO Marty Beard. “The privacy of our customers is paramount to BlackBerry, and we will not compromise that principle.”