Pakistan has banned the use of BlackBerry services, according to a news report. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has ordered mobile phone operators to shut down BlackBerry Enterprise services by the beginning of December. These services use strong encryption that can prevent law enforcement and intelligence agencies from intercepting messages. A spokesperson for the PTA said it wanted the services shut down for security reasons.
In the wake of its massive loss of market share, BlackBerry has largely redefined itself as a niche specialist in secure telecom services. The security capabilities of its devices and operating system have won BlackBerry contracts with over 70 government entities worldwide, both civil and military. However, government policies and attitudes vary, and ironically the very qualities that make BlackBerry appealing to, say, the U.S. Department of Defense—which just approved a measure to integrate the devices more deeply into its network—make it unappealing in Pakistan. The Pakistani government fears that BlackBerry technology could be used against it by internal enemies, and rather than adopting it for itself, seeks to eliminate it from the country entirely.