BlackBerry maker vows privacy safeguard amid memo probe

Research In Motion vowed Tuesday to defend the legal privacy rights of BlackBerry users after a judicial commission in Pakistan ordered copies of smartphone communications in the memo probe.

The Canadian firm reacted to news that a Pakistani commission was seeking records for a probe into an unsigned memo purported to ask for Washington’s help to rein in Pakistan’s military.

The highly controversial memo was allegedly an attempt by Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US and a close aide of President Asif Ali Zardari, to enlist the US military’s help to head off a military coup in May in Pakistan.

It was made public in October by American businessman Mansoor Ijaz.

On Monday, the commission directed Pakistan government officials to obtain the BlackBerry “record of conversation” between Ijaz and the former envoy accused of crafting the memo.

Haqqani resigned over the affair and the Supreme Court has stopped him from leaving Pakistan. He has denied any involvement in the scandal.

Canada-based RIM, which makes the BlackBerry, said, “Like others in our industry, from time to time, we may receive requests from legal authorities for lawful access assistance.”

The company statement added: “We are guided by appropriate legal processes and publicly disclosed lawful access principles in this regard as we balance any such requests against our priority of maintaining the privacy rights of our users.”