Blackberry COO Marty Beard announced Monday that his company will end its Pakistan operations as of December 30 following a dispute with that country’s government over privacy concerns.
According to Beard, the move follows a July ruling from the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority ordering the country’s wireless operators to discontinue Blackberry’s secure messaging service for “security reasons.”
At the heart of the dispute, Beard said, was the Pakistani government’s insistence that it be given the “ability to monitor all BlackBerry Enterprise Service traffic in the country, including every BES email and BES BBM message.”
“BlackBerry will not comply with that sort of directive,” Beard wrote Monday. “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,” he continued. “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.”
Though the government’s order was focused on Blackberry’s Enterprise Service, the company said it plans to exit the market entirely.
The Pakistani government initially gave a November 30 date for the termination of Blackberry’s services, but that timeline has been extended to December 30, the company’s post said. The company will delay its exit from Pakistan until that time, according to the blog.
Beard said Blackberry will continue to focus on “protecting corporate, government and military communications” “wherever our technology operates.”
Filed Under: Industry regulations