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Saudi Arabia and UAE to block Blackberry messaging

Discussion in 'Technology' started by alexd, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    Abdullah Al-Shihri Associated Press

    RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA—A telecommunications official says Saudi Arabia will block BlackBerry messaging later this month.

    The official did not explain why the decision had been made in his comments on Sunday. But neighbouring United Arab Emirates also said Sunday it would block BlackBerry email, messaging and Web access staring in October, citing security concerns because the devices operate beyond the government’s ability to monitor their use.

    The Saudi official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to the media, says the Saudi Arabia Communications and Information Technology Commission, which regulates telecommunications, will issue a statement soon.
  2. glych t.anomaly

    glych t.anomaly TRIBE Member

    i bet Apple is behind this.

  3. Dialog

    Dialog TRIBE Member

    I bet you're wrong.

    I bet Saudi Arabia is behind this.
  4. MOD ONE

    MOD ONE TRIBE Member

    I'm betting on google... they own the world now lol.;)
  5. atomic

    atomic TRIBE Member

    They are. They don't like encrypted data so that enforcement agencies can't monitor communications. Voice isn't affected.

    RIM is not bending so big ups on them.
  6. glych t.anomaly

    glych t.anomaly TRIBE Member

    RIM reported to have agreed to snooping deal with India, says 'no way!'

    RIM reported to have agreed to snooping deal with India, says 'no way!' -- Engadget

    Reports out of India this morning claim that RIM has agreed a deal with the local government to permit its security agencies to "monitor" email and messaging done on BlackBerry devices. There's even a roadmap for this snooperiffic rollout, as all consumer email is expected to be opened up within 15 days and tools are being developed over the next six to eight months to allow chat surveillance as well. A very detailed report indeed, but the IDG News service reports RIM has rubbished the entire thing, stating it's in a continuing dialog with the Indian government and discussions remain confidential. Then again, we'd expect RIM to keep up the facade as long as possible, considering the likely domino effect a capitulation in India would have in nearby states that have similar security concerns. In the mean time, Nokia has meekly announced it'll be complying with the Indian government's rules for push mail and is "installing the required infrastructure." For more on that and the BlackBerry saga, hit the source links below.


    whon whon.

  7. glych t.anomaly

    glych t.anomaly TRIBE Member


    UAE Blackberry Ban Includes Visitors and Tourists

    If you've got a business trip to Dubai planned any time after October 11th, you might want to start making alternate mobile arrangements. The UAE has confirmed that their BlackBerry ban applies to foreigners as well.

    The ban applies to BlackBerry data services, so you'll still be able to make calls from your phone. But since so much business is conducted online—and on BlackBerry—it's going to be a huge blow to a country that depends so much on, and so actively courts, international commerce.

    There's still plenty of time for either RIM or the UAE telecommunications regulator to blink. Let's hope someone does, because this current policy ends with everybody losing.

  8. glych t.anomaly

    glych t.anomaly TRIBE Member

    BlackBerry messaging shut down in Saudi Arabia, users feel early withdrawal pains (update: it's back) -- Engadget

    We can't say this is exactly a surprise, but we are rather saddened to learn that Saudi Arabia has apparently carried through on its threats to shut down all BlackBerry messaging services functionality due to "security concerns." Users there are reporting that they are no longer able to use their keyboards for the jobs they were intended, forcing them to actually call friends -- with their voices. Saudi Arabia has threatened $1.3 million fines for any wireless provider that does not play nicely and, until those threats are lifted, we're thinking BBM is down for the count out there.

    Update: Merely hours later, service is reportedly back. Was it all just a tease? A planned outage blown our of proportion? A false sign of the Apocalypse? Only heaven knows.

  9. atomic

    atomic TRIBE Member

    RIM caves

    ABDULLAH AL-SHIHRI,Associated Press Writer

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia and the makers of the BlackBerry smartphone have reached a deal on accessing users' data that will avert a ban on the phone's messenger service, a Saudi official said Saturday.

    The agreement, involving placing a BlackBerry server inside Saudi Arabia, would allow the government to monitor users' messages and allay official fears the service could be used for criminal purposes, the official said.

    The deal could have wide-ranging implications for several other countries, including India and the United Arab Emirates, which have expressed similar concerns over how BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd., handles data.

    The Saudi regulatory official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the details of the deal with the media, said tests were now under way to determine how to install a BlackBerry server inside the country.

    Canadian International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan confirmed Friday to the Associated Press that Canadian officials were in talks with the Canada-based maker and Saudi officials in a bid to avert the ban. RIM has declined to comment on the talks.

    The kingdom is one of a number of countries expressing concern that the device is a security threat because encrypted information sent on the phones is routed through overseas computers — making it impossible for local governments to monitor.

    Critics, however, maintain that Saudi Arabia and other countries are more motivated by the desire to further curb freedom of expression and strengthen already tight controls over the media than by a fear of terrorism.

    The United Arab Emirates has announced it will ban BlackBerry e-mail, messaging and Web browsing starting in October, and Indonesia and India are also demanding greater control over the data.

    Analysts say RIM's expansion into fast-growing emerging markets is threatening to set off a wave of regulatory challenges, as its commitment to keep corporate e-mails secure rubs up against the desires of local law enforcement.

    RIM says it does offer help to governments, but says its technology does not allow it, or any third party, to read encrypted e-mails sent by corporate BlackBerry users. The consumer version has a lower level of security.

    Saudi Arabia's telecommunications regulator, known as the Communications and Information Technology Commission, announced the imminent ban on Tuesday, saying the BlackBerry service "in its present state does not meet regulatory requirements," according to the state news agency SPA.

    Saudi security officials fear the service could be used by militant groups. The kingdom has been waging a crackdown for years against al-Qaida-linked extremists.

    Saudi Arabia also enforces heavy policing of the Internet, blocking sites both for political content and for obscenities.

    BlackBerry phones are known to be popular both among businesspeople and youth in the kingdom, where local media estimate there are some 750,000 BlackBerry users, who see the phones' relatively secure communication features as a way to avoid attention from the authorities.

    Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

    SkunkPost.com || Saudi says there's a deal with Blackberry
  10. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    I knew RIM would cave to the Saudis

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