BlackBerry is operating beyond the UAE law, the government’s official news service reported today, throwing doubt on the future of the mobile email and messaging service.
BlackBerry’s suite of communication services such as e-mail and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) use internal networks that are encrypted under one of the world’s most complex codes.
BlackBerry has about 500,000 subscribers in the Emirates, not counting visitors who roam through the airports.
BlackBerry “operates beyond the jurisdiction of national legislation”, according to a statement issued today by the state-run news service WAM. This is because it “is the only device operating in the UAE that immediately exports its data offshore and is managed by a foreign, commercial organisation”.
“As a result of how BlackBerry data is managed and stored, in their current form, certain BlackBerry applications allow people to misuse the service, causing serious social, judicial and national security repercussions,” the statement added.
More here: BlackBerry is 'beyond the law' says government (The National)
To read some info about the kind of stuff kicking around on BlackBerry Messenger service I recommend taking a look at Sultan Al Qassemi's twitter feed (e.g. this tweet, this tweet and this tweet
And I'm sure we need no reminder of Etisalat's efforts to "spy" on UAE BlackBerry users last year. (link courtesy anon)
EDIT: In case the TRA's claim that they are doing this to "[safeguard] our consumers" sounds familiar, that's because it is the same reasoning they used when trying to explain why Skype is blocked in the UAE.