BlackBerry cancels plan to exit Pakistan

Staff writer
telecomasia.net

Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry said it will continue to operate in Pakistan, canceling a plan to exit the country after the government demanded backdoor access to user data.

In a blog post published last week, BlackBerry COO Marty Beard said the Pakistani government has rescinded its shutdown order after productive discussions between the two parties.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority issued the shutdown order last July, citing national security reasons related to the difficulty decrypting and eavesdropping content sent over the BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) e-mail service.

On November 30, BlackBerry announced it would be withdrawing from the Southeast Asia country because the regulator demanded access to BES emails and BBM chats, which it described as "a compromise we are not willing to make."

The company was supposed to shutdown on November 30, but had its deadline pushed back to December 30.

“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 access to our BES servers,” Beard said in the blog post. “We look forward to serving the Pakistani market for years to come, including introducing new products and services, and thank our valued customers in Pakistan for their patience and loyalty.”

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