United Arab Emirates: BlackBerry Services to be Suspended in Country

By  Mike Cole — August 02, 2010

As reported by several news outlets including Reuters, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced on August 1, that it will suspend use of Blackberry services (including BlackBerry Messenger and the smartphone's email and web browsing services) in the country beginning in October 2010.

The country's national news agency cited concerns about security risks. The decision also highlights the government's effort to control the flow in the nation: it actively censors web sites and other media seen as being harmful to national security and its conservative values.

The move comes days after an official in India said that country may ban BlackBerry e-mail use and reports have circulated that Saudi Arabia could take similar steps. Both of those countries have also cited security concerns.

The UAE, whose business hub is the city of Dubai, said it would halt BlackBerry services until an "acceptable solution" is developed and applied.

The UAE's telecommunications authority told Reuters, "Blackberry data is immediately exported offshore, where it is managed by a foreign, commercial organization. Blackberry data services are currently the only data services operating in the UAE where this is the case."

The decision is not expected to impact users of other smartphones such as Nokia and Apple.

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