Times are troubling for BlackBerry, as the once popular smartphone manufacturer looks to be pulling out of Pakistan next year. The reason behind this drastic decision is clear as day: the Pakistani government wants the manufacturer to install backdoors in their BlackBerry Enterprise Service emails and BBM chats. The war raging against technology and privacy is in full effect, at a time during which transparency and openness are needed.
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BlackBerry Refuses Government Backdoors in Software
The relationship between BlackBerry and the Pakistani government has been uneasy ever since the company’s services were shut down in July of this year. Mobile phone operators in Pakistan were informed how BlackBerry would be deemed “illegal” if operation continue within Pakistani borders.
Whether or not this decision will be a big loss to BlackBerry remains to be seen. According to a report by The Verge, BlackBerry serves roughly 5,000 enterprise users in Pakistan. The company could have opted to continue their services in the country, but the decision to leave Pakistan altogether may have been for the best.
Above all else, BlackBerry values the guarantee of user privacy. However, in order to remain active in Pakistan, the company would have to forfeit that commitment as the local government demanded backdoor access to BlackBerry’s chat and enterprise email services.
Roughly 5,000 BES users won’t add up to any major revenue discrepancies. Furthermore, it wouldn’t be the first time BlackBerry complied with government demands regarding the monitoring of users’ communication. Last but not least, BlackBerry announced they are more than happy to assist Pakistani law enforcement in any criminal investigations. Some people may see this decision as a win for privacy rights, but the general feeling is how this decision was more of a financial decision.
User Privacy Can Be Respected With Blockchain-Based Models
There is always a certain trade-off between convenience and user privacy. However, Bitcoin’s blockchain has shown the world how both goals can be achieved without making that trade-off along the way. Bitcoin users are pseudonymous on the blockchain while being able to use a convenient financial services network to send and receive payments around the world in mere seconds.
Blockchain technology is not just suited for financial transactions, as it can be adapted to offer a new level of communication as well. Doing so would allow users to keep a certain level of privacy while using an open sourced decentralized network to communicate. Using a backdoor for blockchain-based communication at its core level is impossible.
What are your thoughts on this “deal” between BlackBerry and Pakistan? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: BlackBerry Blog