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Updated: August 3, 2010 14:08 IST

United Arab Emirates to bar some services of BlackBerry

Atul Aneja
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UAE stated it will suspend key BlackBerry services from October because they are incompatible with local laws and raise security concerns.
The Hindu
UAE stated it will suspend key BlackBerry services from October because they are incompatible with local laws and raise security concerns.

Messenger, e-mail and web browsing to be frozen from October 11

Citing security concerns, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has decided to bar some services of BlackBerry — messenger, e-mail and web browsing — from October 11.

The Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) made the announcement on Sunday in a statement run by the official news agency WAM.

Analysts point out that BlackBerry's well developed encryption technology has made it difficult to monitor wireless communication among the users.

“All the Blackberry services fall within the UAE regulatory framework developed by the TRA since 2007. However, because of the BlackBerry's technical configuration, some of its services operate beyond the enforcement of these regulations,” the statement said.

“Data sent over the BlackBerry is immediately exported off-shore, where it is managed by a foreign, commercial organisation,” it said.

According to WAM, the decision was taken after efforts, dating back to 2007, to align BlackBerry services with the country's telecommunication regulations failed.

TRS Director General Mohamed Al Ghanim said the ban was announced in “public interest, in order to affect resolution of this issue.”

“The TRA notes that BlackBerry appears to be compliant in similar regulatory environments of other countries, which makes non-compliance in the UAE both disappointing and of great concern,” he said.

The statement said the UAE's two telecommunications operators — Etisalat and Du were informed of the decision.

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