UAE to block the Blackberry?

Mike Halsey MVP
Aug 1, 2010
Updated • Dec 1, 2012
Mobile Computing

After previous problems in the country, the United Arab Emirates is now set to at least temorarily block RIM's Blackberry phones in the country, saying they pose a "national security risk".

The rules regards internet usage and decency in the country are fairly strict and all ISPs are required to have filtering equipment to block inappropriate or offensive websites and content.  The difference with the Blackberry though is that all of the data on the phones is filtered through RIMs own servers which sit outside of the country, and as such, can't be controlled by the government.

There have been attempts to crack down on the "crackberrys" as they are affectionately known including one purported attempt to sneak software on to the phones by the state-run telecoms agency, TRA.

RIM has yet to officially respond to the announcement which would see some Blackberry services suspended from 11th October.  There are an estimated 500,000 Blackberry users in the country.

TRA Director General, Mohammed al-Ghanem told Reuters "it's a final decision but we are continuing discussions with [RIM].  Censorship has nothing to do with this.  What we are talking about is suspension due to the lack of comliance with UAE telecommunications regulations.

How this will result, with the UAE wanting to monitor all data and email in the country remains to be seen.


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  1. Transcontinental said on August 1, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    “Censorship has nothing to do with this”, quite true when spying is not censorship.
    Excellent advertisement for Blackberry, and one opportunity more to remind us that some countries remain with Middle-Aged practices.

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