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Category: Various

UAE and Saudi will Ban BlackBerry on October

Written on August 04, 2010 by Japhet Writ

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Starting later this month, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates will ban BlackBerry services. Due to some security concerning the handset, it's all goodbye to RIM's mobile email, web browsing and messages.

The United Arab Emirates is planning to block email, messaging and web browsing services starting October. Due to the unmonitored, encrypted data sent on the devices abroad, the government cites this as a potential security threat. This decision will prevent thousands of users to access their email and web on their handset. Whether the ban will extend to foreign visitors with roaming services is still unclear. The crackdown will do more harm on the country’s ill-reputed emirate. Such action from the government will make foreign businesses think twice before putting up a shop in the country. An hour after ’s decision of blocking BlackBerry services, the desert kingdom said that it would do the same later this month.

The Government censors of both countries routinely block access on websites and other media that may carry content contrary to the nation’s values. According to the UAE Regulators, the BlackBerry devices operate outside the enacted national security and safety laws of 2007. Services provided by the handset allows users to act without legal accountability. This causes judicial, social, national security concerns. Aside from Apple’s iPhone and Nokia units, the BlackBerry is the only one that sends user’s data to overseas servers automatically. They use a system that updates the owner’s inbox by sending encrypted messages via company servers. Analysts say that it makes the messages difficult to monitor compare to those sent through domestic servers.

“This is the irony, that it’s the device with the highest security features. These same security features that corporations like have become an issue of national security for the government,” said Simon Simonian.

Mohamed al-Ghanim, director-general of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, said in a statement that the services will be suspended until an acceptable solution can be created and executed. The Canadian company had no immediate comment about the issue. UAE’s state-run telephone companies, Etisalat and Du, are working on alternatives for their BlackBerry consumers.


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