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BlackBerry to continue operations in Pakistan, after government drops data access demands

A few weeks ago, BlackBerry announced that it would exit Pakistan by the end of 2015, following demands by the country's government to provide "unfettered access" to user data, which would have allowed it to view all emails and BBM messages sent there.

However, following "productive discussions", BlackBerry says that the Pakistani government has since withdrawn its demands, and as a result, the company has decided to continue its operations there. The exact details of those discussions were not disclosed, but the end result represents a significant U-turn for the Pakistani authorities.

In July, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority notified carriers that BlackBerry servers would no longer be allowed to operate there, citing unspecified "security reasons".

In November, BlackBerry offered a more detailed explanation for those alleged security concerns: "The truth is that the Pakistani government wanted the ability to monitor all BlackBerry Enterprise Service traffic in the country, including every BES e-mail and BES BBM message." The company said at the time that it had made its position clear, in not granting 'back door' access to any government, prompting its decision to withdraw from Pakistan.

In its latest blog post, BlackBerry said that it is "grateful to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and the Pakistani government for accepting BlackBerry's position" and for ultimately withdrawing its shutdown order, adding: "We look forward to serving the Pakistani market for years to come".

Source: BlackBerry via Engadget
Image: Edited from original people waving Pakistan flag image via Shutterstock

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