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Pakistan plans to shut down BlackBerry's secure messaging services

BlackBerry Messenger to shut down in Pakistan
BlackBerry Messenger
All BES connections in Pakistan may be closed by December, but BlackBerry and the local carriers involved still have to confirm the news.

BlackBerry's secure messaging services are a very strong argument for quite a few of those who choose to use the handsets made by the company formerly known as Research In Motion Limited (RIM). Next to the multi-platform BlackBerry Messenger service, they are also known for keeping the physical QWERTY keyboard around while virtually all other major smartphone makers considered it a thing of the past.

If the latest rumors turn out to be true, it looks like BlackBerry users in Pakistan will soon no longer be able to take advantage of BlackBerry Messenger. ZDNet published a leaked memo from the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) that says the following: "Due to serious concerns by the security agency, Mobilink, Ufone, and Telenor Pakistan are requested to offer 90 days notice as per the existing provisions to their BES customers for closing their BES connections, and ensure that all BES connections of their customers must be closed by or before November 30 without fail."

The authenticity of the memo above, which is dated July 22, cannot be verified at this time, but Reuters also confirmed the news. While most of the few thousand BES customers in Pakistan are government or foreign embassy officials, as well as business users, the authorities are concerned that criminal organizations may use the encrypted service as well.

In the past, BlackBerry's encrypted messaging service has been shut down or temporarily disrupted in India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Both BlackBerry and the Pakistani carriers involved in the upcoming ban declined to comment for now.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2015 07 > Pakistan plans to shut down BlackBerry's secure messaging services
Codrut Nistor, 2015-07-27 (Update: 2015-07-27)
Codrut Nistor
Codrut Nistor - News Editor
Although I have been writing about new software and hardware for almost a decade, I consider myself to be old school. I always enjoy listening to music on CD or tape instead of digital files and I will not even get into the touchscreen vs physical keys debate. However, I also enjoy new technology, as I now have the chance to take a look at the future every day. I joined the Notebookcheck crew back in 2013 and I have no plans to leave the ship anytime soon.