BlackBerry service to be shut down in UAE; India next

On Monday morning the Telecoms Regulatory Authority for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced that it had ordered local operators to suspend BlackBerry services from October 11, for breach of telecoms regulations.

For one reason or another, Canadian vendor Research In Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry network has long been a contentious issue. In this case, because all the BlackBerry traffic travels over RIM’s own secure network, authorities are unable to monitor data in the interests of national security.

According to the UAE regulator, BlackBerry services including Messenger, email and web browsing will all be suspended from October 11 due to non-compliance with regulatory requirements. Voice, SMS and MMS services will be unaffected as they are carried by the local operator’s network.

Both UAE mobile providers, Etisalat and du have confirmed receipt of this instruction from the telecoms authority. Both carriers said they will shortly announce alternative calling plans and services for their significant BlackBerry user bases.

Neighbouring kingdom Saudi Arabia is understood to be copying elements of the plan by blocking BlackBerry Instant Messenger and similar moves were also taking place in India, according to local press reports, which suggest that the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) has warned RIM its services may be restricted in India unless modifications are made allowing security services to access local subscribers’ BlackBerry data.

In a written statement, RIM said it “respects both the regulatory requirements of government and the security and privacy needs of corporations and consumers”.

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  1. Avatar Stu 02/08/2010 @ 1:20 pm

    The Saudia are not copying this plan, they are just looking to block BB Messenger, not BES.

  2. Avatar app developer 02/08/2010 @ 1:33 pm

    A sad day for RIM and a sad day for privacy and human rights.

  3. Avatar Jolly 02/08/2010 @ 7:22 pm

    What kind of Privacy & Human rights are we talking about when RIM provides the access to US and Canada? Why shall a company have double standards? Terrorists are thumping all across India taking innocent lives and it is in national interest of India to have capability to intercept what it may deem necessary to avoid other extremists attacks. Being said that if RIM wants to do business in India, they ought to play by Indian laid rules or simply get out of there. Somethings are far simpler than it seems.

  4. Avatar Daniso Ndolo 04/08/2010 @ 3:31 pm

    Real Shame to technological progress, and a great step backwards.

  5. Avatar moqi 11/08/2010 @ 9:30 pm

    why does RIM feel it has more security than other governments around the globe

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