01 August, 2010

Blackberry services in UAE to be suspended

The TRA confirmed today that Blackberry Messenger, Blackberry E-mail and Blackberry Web-browsing services in the UAE will be suspended as of October 11th 2010.

Today’s decision is based on the fact that, in their current form, certain Blackberry services allow users to act without any legal accountability, causing judicial, social and national security concerns for the UAE.

Commenting on the announcement TRA Director General Mohamed Al Ghanim said: “With no solution available and in the public interest, in order to affect resolution of this issue, as of October 11, 2010, Blackberry Messenger, Blackberry Email and Blackberry Web-browsing services will be suspended until an acceptable solution can be developed and applied.”

“We informed both Etisalat and du that providing the option of alternative services to ensure the continuity of service from October 11 to its subscribers – both individuals and organisations - is the most important priority.” Al Ghanim added.

Said Al Ghanim, “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.”
From TRA's website.

The build-up to this can be seen two posts down.


Mohammed said...

Despite the obvious threat to the local economy, this is a sane country that I live in as an American and they are extremely conscious of security threats and very good at controling them and I hate to admit that I trust pretty well in their judgement as a start. They are at very high risk being an open and western society and must take all risks very very seriously for all of our sakes. It is probably very sane and I am willing to give them the initial benefit of the doubt as a resident there.

James O'Hearn said...

I'm predicting an uptick in sales of the Nokia E72, or a sudden increase in the popularity of the iPhone or Android devices.

Gerry said...

this is pretty much the opposite of an open society. and I would trust the gov't with telecoms only slightly more than I'd trust etisalat.

having said that, though, I can understand the need for a security service to have access to encrypted communications. it's just that I also can understand the lack of trust a company like rim might have in the tra and the uae gov't.

I think in the end, consumer pressure will make the gov't back down in this case.

Anonymous said...

The above comment was posted in Yahoo News as well, but under the name "Lisa".

So is it a westerner pretending to be an Arab in this blog, or is it really "Mohammed" trying to show the world (through yahoo news) how even western females support this action ?!!

a question of a question said...

Whats next?

here are the possible scenarios:

1) There would be a clarification issued within a week clarifying that BB services are not banned (Seebee has probably already drafted an entry for his blog for this case).

2) The ban would be lifted within a month after talks between RIM and TRA.

3) The ban would be lifted on 10/10/10 (primarily due to fascination to announce major things on such dates - remember 8/8/8 and 9/9/9?); however, by that time a lot of businesses and individuals would have migrated to some other smart phone - extra cost during recession - which business doesnt like that?

Anonymous said...

Reasoning is reasonable-> In current form, certain Blackberry services allow users to act without any legal accountability, causing judicial, social and national security concerns for the UAE.

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