Emirates to block most BlackBerry services

Emirates to block most BlackBerry services
Emirates to block most BlackBerry services 

By Henry Kenyon
August 03, 2010

The United Arab Emirates will soon suspend most functions for BlackBerry 
mobile phones, in a dispute over access to the smart phone's 
communications. In an announcement this Sunday, the Emirate's 
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority stated that on Oct. 11, it will 
block mobile services such as e-mail and text messaging, but not voice 

The ban is part of a longstanding dispute between the Persian Gulf state 
and Research In Motion, the smart phone's Canadian producer. According 
to both the New York Times and the Associated Press, the heart of the 
dispute centers on RIM's unwillingness to let the UAE's government 
access the secure Web-based communications used by BlackBerry wireless 

Governments throughout the region worry that the smart phone users, who 
are primarily business users or young and technology savvy, will use the 
encrypted communications for anti-government purposes. The UAE has some 
500,000 BlackBerry subscribers.

The Associated Press noted that the UAE contends that some BlackBerry 
features operate outside of the country's laws, "causing judicial, 
social and national security concerns." BlackBerry devices encrypt their 
data and route it through the company's overseas routers. This automatic 
encryption makes it almost impossible for authorities to monitor. 


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