Pakistan to Ban Blackberry Enterprise Services in the Country

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, on direction of concerned bodies, has asked cellular operators to stop offering Blackberry Enterprise Services to its enterprise customers. PTA said that directions came from LEAs and is based on security reasons.

A letter from authority sent to cellular operators, a copy of which is available with ProPakistani, says that BES customers should be given 90 days of notice before closing the services altogether.

Directive asked mobile phone companies to ensure that there is no BES connection active after November 30th, 2015.

A PTA spokesperson confirmed us the move and said that only BES will blocked while BIS services will remain operational as they are.

Blackberry phones, with just voice and SMS facility, will also keep working.

For those who don’t know, Blackberry services are primarily of following two types:

BIS

BIS or BlackBerry Internet Service gives your BlackBerry access to the Internet. BIS is like an ISP (usually your cellular provider) and every time your BlackBerry gets an email, or accesses a webpage it goes through BIS (your operator) to do so.

BES

BES or BlackBerry Enterprise Server gives your BlackBerry access to a corporate intranet. The intranet is the private, internal, network within a company that is called BES. It’s kind of like a mini-internet that is cut off from the rest of the world.

Many intranets allow you to communicate with the Internet as well, but with added layers of security.

Difference between BIS and BES

Both BES and BIS allow your BlackBerry to get email, as well as retrieve webpages and use third-party apps.

In the case of BIS, your network operates the server. Everything from BIS to your blackberry device is encrypted, but that’s about the extent of the security features.

For BES, your company operates the server and usually has it sitting somewhere within the corporate network. The IT department controls all aspect of the BES server, and it’s likely sitting in a nice and secure location within your data centre.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK


  • Sleepless

    Are people still using BES? I remember very few BES customers in north region during my Warid days. Maybe Mobilink has more customers?

    • aamir7

      Mobilink, Telenor and Ufone

    • waleed

      Please ban all services that creates security risk to Pakistan and Pakistani people.

      • Arsalan Shah

        Please kill all Pakistani People, take away their food, water, etc – due to it being a security risk.. as terrorists eat food and drink water.

  • Muhammad Aamir

    Our government is an expert in banning, but in other things the brain doesn’t work.

    • Dr. Aamir Liaquat Hussain

      security is something to deal with security agencies which are under the direct supervision of Army.
      Have guts then speak truth.

      • Muhammad Aamir

        Is it the same case with Youtube?

        • Dr. Aamir Liaquat Hussain

          No. The case with youtube is the power of Masjid speaker. Though we know who gave this power to Masajid in 1980’s but it has nothing to do with politics.
          Politics are open on media and we know everything about them even the funny talk shows aired on many channels about them. Banning youtube won’t give any benefit to them. FYI there is one institution who even controls the media and won’t allow them to give any news about them and you know and whole world know and even the international bodies who always rank pakistan media at 150 to 170th position says that it is control by one institution which means no freedom of speech.

          • Muhammad Aamir

            ..

            • Dr. Aamir Liaquat Hussain

              As expected. you understand everything but pretend to be blind

  • Saima

    What? the government cannot make its own security systems better and imposes another sanction on public? Its NOT JUST the terrorists that ‘might be’ using bb services, why should an average user only using the email / bbm services for ‘normal’ conversations and business get punished??

    Way to go…

    Why don’t they just nuke us all in one go..

    • Dr. Aamir Liaquat Hussain

      May your wish come true

    • Zafar

      why UK Government blocked whatsapp? don’t they have better infrastructure and resources to make their security system better? every thing has a reason in running a Govt. You should better focus in kitchen

  • Bilal Iqbal

    Good bye BB… its time for MS Exchange… ;)

  • M Waseem Akhtar

    A report on BBC some days ago narrated that Pakistani eye es eye has started working like NSA targeting everyone. So I hope Whatsapp will be blocked soon since it does not keep any record of data on its server after passing it to users.
    Beware guys , you are being watched… Not from USA but the ones among you.

  • NoMan

    more imp question is what is the seccurity risk from black berry that other phones and computers dont have?

  • Faraz

    The new BlackBerry os does not require it’s users to have the BIS or BES activated. It work on normal data packages, so essentially BlackBerry isn’t going anywhere. A small segment of BlackBerry BES customers will face such an issue, rest is all ok.

    Moral of story: if you don’t have the ‘right’ tools to monitor something, Block it! :)

    • M Waseem Akhtar

      Agreed, same thing is happening here.

  • Eli Ehsan

    Kudos to the IT managers/administrators/engineers who dare to operate BES services within an organization in this iOS/Android era. #HatsOff to their courage & patience.

  • Shahid Jamal Tubrazy

    Having expertise in cyber laws my opinion is, in fact the
    laws like Investigation for Fair Trial Act 2013 and Pakistan Protection Act
    2014 required a procedure where every service provider under obligation to keep
    the digital record of communication and provide to law enforcement agency on
    demand. These laws required a strict mechanism for surveillance and
    interception of electronic / digital interaction. So companies like Black Barry
    etc have to block as their communication have strong encryption and local
    companies could keep the record or decrypt of that e-communication.

  • Arqam

    Is bbm getting blocked or text messages on blackberry phones?

  • Pervez Iqbal

    Dozsto ap ki aqal sometime ghaas charne gyi hai. Blackberry company rejected to provide data related to few crime case