Guardian: Pakistan bans BlackBerry services in privacy crackdown

Posted by Soledad Vega on Mon, 07/27/2015 - 09:42

Pakistan has banned Blackberry messaging, as it moves to ban all encryption and gain ability to intercept as much communication as possible.
Blackberry in particular is such a strong business tool, that it's really easy to see how these kinds of surveillance mechanisms put businesses and economies at risk; not just personal privacy.

Article by Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian

Pakistan has banned BlackBerry’s enterprise server and its internet and messaging services “for security reasons” in a crackdown on privacy.

Mobile phone operators were told by the Pakistan telecommunication authority on Friday that the BlackBerry services must be shut down by the start of December.

BlackBerry uses strong encryption – part of its appeal to businesses and users – which prevents law enforcement and intelligence agencies from intercepting messages and snooping on user activity.

“PTA has issued directions to local mobile phone operators to close BlackBerry Enterprise Services from Nov. 30 on security reasons,” said a PTA spokesperson.

BlackBerry operates servers through which all internet traffic destined for its smartphones and tablets flows. The servers handle email, messaging, browsing and other communications services, encrypting the data and ensuring greater privacy.

A recent report by Privacy International claims Pakistan’s military intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), is seeking to dramatically expand its ability to intercept communications.

Privacy International said the ISI had few legal checks on its surveillance practices.

- Read more at The Guardian