BlackBerry Ltd To Stay In Pakistan


BlackBerry received shutdown orders last year, but the Canadian firm confirmed recently that it will continue to operate in the country. The Canadian phone maker was supposed to exit the Pakistani market on Dec. 30.

“Productive” talks helped break the ice

Last month, BlackBerry’s chief operating officer, Marty Beard, affirmed that the company would not give out the private information of its enterprise customers to the Pakistani government and if needed would leave the country. At that time, Beard said the truth is that the Pakistani government is seeking the ability to monitor all BlackBerry BES traffic in the country, including every BES email and BES BBM message.

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However, on Dec. 31, the next day of the company’s due date for the exit, Beard said in a blog post that the company and the Government of Pakistan had some “productive” discussions, and now BlackBerry will continue to operate in the country. Expressing his gratitude to Pakistan’s Telecommunication Authority and the Pakistani government, Beard said he is thankful for their understanding that it is against the company’s principles to provide the content of its customers’ BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) traffic or to provide access to its BES servers.

“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,” Beard said.

BlackBerry sticks to its privacy principle

In July 2015, it surfaced that the Pakistani Telecommunications Authority ordered that BlackBerry’s BES servers wouldn’t be able to operate in the country any longer. The news came along with a leaked document showing the minutes from a meeting that asked three of the biggest phone providers in Pakistan to close the encrypted messaging service.

Last month, BlackBerry CEO John Chen stressed that tech firms should help law enforcement agencies protect the public. But citing the decision to exit Pakistan, Chen said the companies must not comply with the authorities if they overstep, and BlackBerry did this by refusing to design back doors into its devices and software.

On Dec. 31, BlackBerry stock closed down 0.75% at $9.28. In 2015, the stock was down by over 14%, while in the last one month, it is up by over 20%.