Pakistan citing “security reasons” for BlackBerry services shutdown this December


Citing “security reasons,” the Pakistani government plans to prevent its citizens from accessing BlackBerry’s suite of secure messaging services by December 1, according to a report from Reuters.

“[The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority] has issued directions to local mobile phone operators to close BlackBerry Enterprise Services from Nov. 30 on security reasons,” said an unnamed Pakistani official to the publication.

According to Privacy International, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency wants to dramatically expand its ability to intercept phone calls and messages. With its end-to-end encryption, BlackBerry Enterprise Services is an obvious roadblock to that plan.

As Reuters notes, this isn’t the first time BlackBerry has drawn the ire of a government that wants to spy on its citizens. In the past, the company has faced similar problems in the United Arab Emirates, India, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

MobileSyrup has reached out to BlackBerry for comment.

Update: BlackBerry has responded to our request for comment with the below statement. More information on the company’s lawful access policy can be found here.

“BlackBerry provides the world’s most secure communications platform to government, military and enterprise customers. Protecting that security is paramount to our mission. While we recognize the need to cooperate with lawful government investigative requests of criminal activity, we have never permitted wholesale access to our BES servers.”