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Cellphones Censorship Communications Encryption Government Privacy

UAE Says RIM Played Ball, Will Maintain Service 41

cgriffin21 writes "The United Arab Emirates will not suspend services on BlackBerry smartphones next week, following an agreement reached with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion that is said to comply with UAE policy. It'll be a relief for the roughly 500,000 BlackBerry users in the UAE, a turnaround on the planned Oct. 11 service suspension. In a brief statement, the UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority said that BlackBerry services 'are now compliant with the UAE's telecommunications regulatory framework.'" The Guardian's coverage quotes an anonymous UAE university professor, who said, "The general opinion amongst the business expat community, westerners at least, has been for some time now that [the ban] wasn't going to happen. Call it a failure of imagination on their part, but no one could conceive of how the country could do something so counterproductive to the image they are trying to present primarily to the west. Was it posturing? To some extent."
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UAE Says RIM Played Ball, Will Maintain Service

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  • by clang_jangle ( 975789 ) on Friday October 08, 2010 @12:27PM (#33837362) Journal
    There was never any doubt RIM would cave. Nor any doubt that private communications are virtually nonexistent on this planet.
    • That's kind of the trick though, nobody will talk about what happened.

      what we really need is somebody to talk, we'll never know what happened otherwise!
      • Pack up all my care and woe,
        Here I go,
        Singing low,
        Bye bye
        Where somebody waits for me,
        Sugar's sweet, so is she,
        Bye bye

  • Funny (Score:4, Funny)

    by jgagnon ( 1663075 ) on Friday October 08, 2010 @12:28PM (#33837368)

    What's funny is that some day soon (-ish or could already be argued true in some cases), huge multi-national companies will be more powerful than governments.

  • by Lieutenant_Dan ( 583843 ) on Friday October 08, 2010 @12:59PM (#33837762) Homepage Journal

    Perhaps someone more knowledgeable can enlighten me ...

    If I take my BB over to UAE, I guess when I start roaming on their local service, all my BES communication will go through the local UAE RIM gateways, correct? The same gateways that the UAE will have some major visibility into. So that means that something that is private in the US/Canada will forego that confidentiality once I'm within their borders?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Your email will still be encrypted by your corporate's key (not even RIM can decipher it). Your internet access, though, will have to be decrypted at the RIM servers (in this case RIM UAE servers) and the local govt (whether its US or UAE) will have access to it.

    • If you are using BES and you have your BES server at your company then they won't be able to monitor the communication. It will be encrypted between your device and the BES server located in your company.
    • by Existential Wombat ( 1701124 ) on Friday October 08, 2010 @01:37PM (#33838214)

      If you think your BB information is private in the US and probably Canada, you're living in cloud cuckoo land (wherever that is).

      There's no way the US would allow a public communications system they could not get into.

  • It'll be a relief for the roughly 500,000 BlackBerry users in the UAE [...]

    I'm not sure where this relief is supposed to come from. Most people are not relieved when its hinted that the UAE will now be capable of relieving them of personal and commercial secrets.

    • I've found in many parts of world people are ok with government snooping in. "I have nothing to hide, why should I care? It also helps defeats terrorism and criminals". This distrust of government seems to be uniquely American.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Confusador ( 1783468 )

        Really, can you blame us?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by enjerth ( 892959 )

        Do you have any compelling reason why I SHOULD trust my government? They are a bunch of strangers to me. I don't trust strangers in general.

        How about lawyers? Congress is largely comprised of lawyers. I REALLY don't trust lawyers.

      • Uniquely American? LOL, I think you're describing your travel/communication habits.

  • Wasn't there just something in the news about Obama pressing for similar access [nytimes.com]? I wonder if the mighty US gov't will fair any better...
  • Anything else that would have come out of the UAE, you would have held under suspicion. Doesn't the phrase "are now compliant with the UAE's telecommunications regulatory framework." set off any alarm bells to you?

    UAE adjusted their policies, RIM didn't change anything. Then the UAE grandstanded.

  • The day when all endpoints encrypt all traffic to keep network operators from poking around in what is literally none of their business cannot come too soon. And the more tyrants (the US not excepted) insist on groping our data, the sooner that day will come.

    So where's the encrypted VOIP apps for Skype and Facebook, running on Android and/or iPhone?

  • Big double fail:

    (1) UAE for pulling this bullshit in front of the whole world, showing their true colors, after all these many years of trying to repair their reputation.

    RIM for giving the UAE despots a RIM job, for dollars. They did have the option of saying "No!"

    And to think I was getting close to doing an app for the Blackberry. Hmmm. Maybe the app will work on other mobile platforms, but the Blackberry version might just FAIL for some unknown reason...
    • To be clear: yes, there are people and companies I will charge more, and some I simply won't deal with, depending on their ASSHOLE quotient.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger