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BlackBerry Services To Be Halted In UAE 134

Posted by Soulskill
from the blocking-the-tip-of-an-iceberg dept.
WrongSizeGlass writes "Bloomberg is reporting RIM's BlackBerry Messenger, e-mail and Web browsing services will be suspended in the United Arab Emirates, the Middle East's business hub, starting October 11th due to security concerns. RIM faces similar restrictions in India. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority said in a statement on state-run Emirates News Agency, '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.' A senior Indian government official said, 'Though RIM has been fully cooperating ever since the matter was taken up with it in 2008, reports of the company's move to set up a server in China forced us to look at it in a different way.'"
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BlackBerry Services To Be Halted In UAE

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  • "Security Concerns" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nimloth (704789) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @09:23AM (#33100762)
    I read this and thought: "really? security concerns over the BlackBerry network?". Then I figured out that the "security concerns" were that it is too secure for them because they like to reserve the right to eaves drop and lay the smackdown when they feel appropriate.
  • Emerging Rivalry (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Sunday August 01, 2010 @10:14AM (#33100946)

    Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I wonder if India's response to Blackberry is part of an effort to present itself as a viable alternative to China for some segments of the medium- and high-tech manufacturing sector. Even with it problems, India has always shown a greater commitment to democracy than China ever has.

  • Saudi too (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sir_Sri (199544) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @10:32AM (#33101016)

    Some other places are reporting this as both saudi and the UAE (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100801/world/ml_emirates_blackberry). Saudi being a somewhat bigger market.

  • by icegreentea (974342) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @10:59AM (#33101132)
    Well, the restrictions really don't matter cause all communications to/from the President must be recorded and be made available. Bush Jr gave up on his personal email (it was an aol account) when he became president cause he didn't want to have to disclose private information. Obama's BB will be under similar restrictions. Whatever BES he's attached to probably has all sorts of ridiculous auditing and filtering stuff turned on for his account. It's very much going to be 'boring' work phone.
  • by Dolphinzilla (199489) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @11:23AM (#33101228) Journal

    while I will grant you that the government has its issues - I will say that the UAE does take security pretty serious and is probably one of the safest Middle Eastern (maybe the safest) countries for westerners. Part of the security is no doubt due to the intense control and monitoring of its citizens and visitors. I won't make a call whether its good or bad just an observation from someone who has spent a few months there.

  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @12:03PM (#33101402) Homepage

    Yeah, but those countries don't have the affluence of Saudi Arabia.

    No, SA is, I think, better compared to Iran: a nation with a relatively affluent population that's under the thumb of oppression, both political and religious. And much like Iran, I'm willing to bet, in the absence of said oppression, they could flourish as a modern nation.

  • by couchslug (175151) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @02:29PM (#33102306)

    NON-scummy governments in most of the world are simply not an option. Making them less scummy is like teaching a pig to sing, in that it doesn't work and annoys the pig.

    "That's what predatory capitalism is all about.."

    That's what DIPLOMACY has ALWAYS been about, long before Capitalism existed. There are no good people, hence no need to act as if there are. There are only interests, and clients.

    In the Middle East in particular, the binary client choice is between greedy tribalists and homicidal Jihadists. Those are the locals, who govern with the assent of most other locals. They aren't nice to their opposition, nor would their opponents be nice to them if roles were switched.

  • by couchslug (175151) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @02:34PM (#33102350)

    "It's amazing that the people of the US allow their government to keep propping it up. "

    Oh no it isn't! The alternatives are even worse in every way.

    The House of Saud are widely dispersed through KSA society, offer the only hope of stable government (that's entirely different from "good" government"), and their enemies help push them somewhat into our camp. It's like being allied with the Soviet Union during the Second World War. They are a smaller problem than their opponents. (Unlike the Soviets, the Saudis aren't getting killed in gratifying numbers, but Al Qaeda etc kill enough of them to be useful.) Diplomacy isn't nice, but "nice" is a childish metric.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 01, 2010 @03:10PM (#33102630)

    UAE is actually one of the more liberal countries in the Middle East. For example, women are not required to wear a veil in public, only a shawl. Shoplifters no longer get their hands cut off. And astonishingly, there are even some gay places in Dubai if you are so inclined. For example, the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza gym. As always though in the Middle East, be careful - and be discreet!

  • by gelfling (6534) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @03:27PM (#33102724) Homepage Journal

    As long as it protects ME when I travel there. In any case, I am fine with this.

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