BlackBerry: Bye Bye Pakistan
A few weeks ago some of you readers might have read somewhere else that BlackBerry, through their blog has made an announcment that they would be withdrawing from the Pakistani market. The sudden withdrawal was supposed to happen after 30th of November where Pakistani authorities have ordered the shutting down of BlackBerry’s operations in the country. As we have learned, they have extended that the shutdown order from the Pakistani Government have been extended to the end of the year instead; in fact 30th December, 2015 will be the last day that the name will stay in Pakistan. We are pretty sure that there will still be BlackBerry devices there but not officially.
BlackBerry is an internationally recognised brand when it comes to one-of-a-kind, full-sized physical QWERTY keyboard devices that comes with a pretty cool BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) application. For the length of its business they pride themselves supplying sophisticated devices to corporations and also running secure intranet services for other corporations that has employed them into service. That said, of course BES BBM was part of that secure intranet communication service alongside BES e-mail system for corporate uses. With the kind of services from BlackBerry it is no wonder that companies trust that their corporate privacy is well protected from any type of organisation including governments.
Earlier this year however there were reports of several governments requesting access to these protected private servers that BlackBerry runs. One of which is the Pakistani Government. Their argument was to be able to monitor any business dealings done electronically in Pakistan as well as to prevent any illegal activities in companies. Of course as we said Pakistan is not the only country trying to get their eyes into the secure servers. What the Pakistani Government suggested was allow a “back door” access to BlackBerry’s servers in Pakistan. Of course they rejected the offer.
BlackBerry stated in their blog, here that they would be more than happy if Pakistani Government request their assistance in any sort of investigations of criminal activities. However the government wanted unadultered access to the whole server. Granting that access will violate their principle of protecting the privacy of their customers and that is why they chose to not allow access. BlackBerry also have clarified that the shutdown order from the government was only for the BES servers but due to the irregular request for open access by the government the Canadian firm have decided that it is best that they exit the market entirely to avoid further complications.
It is unclear whether BlackBerry has any plans to reenter Pakistan in the future. As of now we are convinced that as long as the Pakistani Government still wants access to their servers they will not tolerate. Of course if you read carefully you would know that this is not the first government that requested for access into their servers. Of course we are also curious about their next moves in these markets or how they would develop and navigate this obstacle. One thing we know for sure though, as we live in an age where privacy invasion is a norm and will be increasingly debated; BlackBerry will stand firm to protect their view of privacy and also the security, integrity and privacy of its clients as long as the company still stands.
Source: BlackBerry Blog