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BlackBerry to remain in Pakistani market

Company resolves row with country's government over access to BlackBerry Enterprise Server

BlackBerry to remain in Pakistani market
BlackBerry's COO said that Pakistan's government was demanding 'unfettered access' to BlackBerry Enterprise Server

BlackBerry has reversed a decision to exit the Pakistani market, following the dropping of a request from the country's government calling for access to BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES).

The company had previously stated that, after November 30, it would no longer operate in Pakistan. The move was prompted by a row with the Pakistani government over access to data sent and received through BlackBerry's devices.

When the company decided to pull out of the country, BlackBerry COO Marty Beard wrote in a blog post that the Pakistani government wanted the ability to monitor all BlackBerry Enterprise Service traffic in the country, including BES e-mail, and BES BBM messages. He claimed that the demand was not a question of public safety, and was more a demand of "unfettered access".

"Remaining in Pakistan would have meant forfeiting our commitment to protect our users' privacy. That is a compromise we are not willing to make," he wrote.

"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."

However, in an updated blog, posted on Thursday, Beard wrote that "after productive discussions", the Pakistani government had rescinded its shutdown order, and that the company has decided to remain in the market.

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