Pakistan bans BlackBerry messaging, e-mail for “security reasons”

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has issued a directive to mobile phone network operators to shut down access to BlackBerry Enterprise Services for all mobile customers by November 30. The new order is "for security reasons," a PTA spokesperson told The Guardian.

The order comes just six days after Privacy International issued a report warning that Pakistan's intelligence agencies are ramping up electronic surveillance efforts. The ongoing battle with the Pakistani Taliban and other insurgents has been used as justification for an increasingly broad surveillance campaign by Pakistan's intelligence community.

"The Pakistani government has been trying for years to capture all domestic phone and internet traffic across the nation’s networks," the authors of the Privacy International report noted. "As of 2013, they are significantly closer to achieving this goal."

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