United Arab Emirates to suspend Blackberry services

August 3rd, 2010 - 2:06 am ICT by BNO News  

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (BNO NEWS) – The United Arab Emirates announced on Monday the ban on the Blackberry services of messenger, e-mail and web-browsing effective on October 11 due to non-compliance with the regulatory requirements by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).

The U.A.E. engaged in a dispute with Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM), of Canada, regarding to the way the smartphone handles electronic data. The TRA said that the suspension will remain in place, until the applications are in full compliance with the U.A.E. regulations.

In the U.A.E. there are approximately 500,000 Blackberry users, a relatively small market for RIM. But the suspension of data service caused unease in at least one other government, India, due to the inability to monitor and review electronic communications on the device in criminal, terrorist or national-security investigations.

RIM processes the information through a handful of secure Network Operations Centers around the globe. This causes that most governments can’t access the data easily on their own. The main concern of the U.A.E. is that RIM would not compel to turn over secure data from its servers, outside Asia, even in a national security situation.

The U.A.E. is the latest country to try to monitor and control communications. Kuwait, China and India are among nations that have asked RIM for easier data access in order to operate within their borders.

The TRA requested all Blackberry subscribers to visit “Etisalat,” and “di” for alternative services and solutions. Last month, RIM offered the U.A.E. government to access to the communication of 3,000 for the roughly 500,000. The Arab nation declined the offer.

The Blackberry is recognized globally for its secure encryption technology that appeals particularly to business users. RIM is based in Ontario, Canada.

“It was specifically designed to provide corporate customers with the ability to transmit information wirelessly while also providing them with the necessary confidence that no one, including RIM, could access their data,” the RIM explained.

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