Blackberry services ban in two Gulf countries

Services to be blocked by UAE and Saudi Arabia

United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia announced bans on some Blackberry services amidst security concerns.

The United Arab Emirates announced the banning of Blackberry E-mail, Messenger and Web Browsing services in the country, effective October 11 2010.

Saudi Arabia has followed suit with banning the Blackberry Messenger service from later on this month.

This decision comes after both governments had expressed unhappiness with being unable to access the encrypted data sent between Blackberry handsets. UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), said the lack of compliance with local laws raised "judicial, social and national security concerns". Currently, all data is encrypted and delivered to servers that are not housed within the two countries. Research in Motion (RIM) has refused these governments access to the encrypted data till date.

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The ban comes after an update released last year by Etisalat, a local telecommunications firm in the UAE, which allegedly acted as a spyware on Blackberry devices. The Blackberry markets in the UAE and Saudi Arabia stand at approximately 500,000 and 400,000 respectively.

Other governments, such as in India, have already raised concerns over security due to usage of Blackberry services.

Do you think RIM's encrypted data storage pose a security threat? Head over to Twitter and Facebook and share your thoughts.

Via: BBC