There are indications that there is going to be a ban on some blackberry services in the UAE effective October 11, 2010 because of the inability of authorities there to monitor blackberry’s encrypted services. Services affected include blackBerry email, messaging and web services . The UAE ban will also cover foreign travellers passing through Emirate airports. Saudi Arabia is likely to follow suit.

Unlike other smart phones – iPhone 4 or Nokia – whose services are handled by local wireless operators, BlackBerry doesn’t send emails over the internet. BlackBerry messages are first encrypted and securely stored on the smart phone and then sent out in encrypted manner through its own highly secure Network Operation Centre or server.

There is a possibility of a compromise before that date because of the level of business the company stands to lose, a move that may compromise on the existing level of security offered by this company.

We can only watch and see.


13 Responses

  1. i wonder how this makes any sense. it is a great intrusion on privacy by the Emirates!

    are they saying that they have been able to armtwist other non-blackberry email service providers into granting unfettered governmental access to peoples” private data?

    makes one wonder what companies like facebook & google could be doing with our data…

  2. i really dont know what side of the fence i should be on because i feel there are instances when access to those data may be justified, but unfettered access? I dont know about that. I guess it’s a response to the type of society we live in but, of course, misuse may set in.
    The truth is, as it is, i believe all networks are under obligation to provide the Governments with whatever info they require

  3. @EyeBeeKay;

    Considering the security issues that can arise from the encryption of data on the BB network. I expected such regulations to come in sooner than later…..

    Although I find it amusing that it is starting in the Emirates. I expected this to start in some western country that is a bigger target for terrorist activity.

    I still expect the government to go further and obtain court orders on redflagged lines and not just open everyone to privacy encroachment issues.


    1. i honestly dont believe the Western world, United States especially, do not have access to Blackberry data, otherwise, it would have been the network of choice to dem Alqaeda people

  4. I bet they have access to everything. Monitor your calls without you knowing, access your emails bug your place. Most of the stuff we see in movies or read in detective novels are actually real.
    Personally, I think UAE are just extremists in every way.

  5. the general consensus of opinion from commenters, so far, seems to be that some level of governmental access is necessary / justifiable.
    in more civilised societies. yes.

    but in the hands of corruptible / corrupt government officials with less than noble intentions, such power is easily susceptible to gross abuse..

    while government is – in theory- a faceless entity. the truth of the matter is that politicians often have less than altruistic motives for their policies. particularly in the Third World…

  6. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has agreed to hand over coveted “codes” to users’ phones to avert a ban on its messenger services in Saudi Arabia.

    1. @Slam Dunk

      Well, i guess we were all expecting something like that to happen. RIM got to stay in business.
      Meanwhile, does it mean US does not have access to this codes too? How come it wasnt news then?

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