Pakistan to Shut BlackBerry Email Service Over Surveillance Issues

Pakistan to Shut BlackBerry Email Service Over Surveillance Issues


There was a time a few years earlier when the governments started threatening to cut-off BlackBerry’s secure email service because they were unable to spy on your messages. That time is back again and this time, they’ve dropped the bomb in Pakistan. Pakistan’s Telecommunication Authority has recently ordered its local carriers to simply shut-off BlackBerry’s Enterprise Service  from this year’s November 30th for ‘security reasons.’

Although the agency isn’t sure as what those concerns could be, but they are surely not happy the way Blackberry encrypts its messages. The BES typically encrypts its messages in a way such that a third party is usually unable to intercept them in its mid-flight. Pakistan is mainly worried that local gangs and terrorists might make use of BlackBerry phones for chatting and executing their plans in secret.

This move, however, isn’t a surprising one especially when they have been struggling with terrorism for quite some time now. They even require fingerprints as a condition so as to avail cell-phone service to a customer. However, questions about both – potential abuse and effectiveness loiter around. Moreover, observers at the Privacy International have also warned that Pakistan’s intelligence outfits aren’t scrupulous. In recent times, they’ve spied on their journalists, politicians, judges and other people and have dared to challenge the status quo.

Even if BlackBerry decides to offer some sort of access to its email service, it could very easily jeopardize privacy of millions of innocent people. There’s a big chance of this move being proven ineffective since BlackBerry users either tend to switch communication methods or they tend to use entirely different devices.