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UAE will not suspend BlackBerry services

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 08 Oct 2010 11:06

UAE will not suspend BlackBerry services The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will not carry out a suspension of several BlackBerry services in a row over national security issues. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority issued a statement earlier on Friday announcing that Blackberry services were not compliant with the regulator's framework.
"The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has confirmed that Blackberry services are now compliant with the UAE's telecommunications regulatory framework.
Therefore, the TRA has confirmed today that all Blackberry services in the UAE will continue to operate as normal and no suspension of service will occur on October 11, 2010.

The TRA would like to acknowledge the positive engagement and collaboration of Research In Motion (RIM) in reaching this regulatory compliant outcome."

The UAE had threatened to suspend BlackBerry Messenger, e-mail and web browser services from October 11 onward because the government could not get the same level of access to the encrypted content as others such as the United States and Russia could.

Suadi Arabia and India had also made similar threats for the same reason. Information sent between BlackBerry devices in the UAE was encrypted and handled by servers located outside of the country. RIM had said that the location of the servers made no difference to the ability to decrypt the data flow on its devices.

In Saudi Arabia, the company came to an agreement to share the unique pin number and code for each Blackberry registered there, which would allow authorities investigating criminal activity to read encrypted text. It is likely a similar deal was agreed with the UAE.

"Either they will continue services as usual or RIM has given them access to one or two elements of security such as the encryption key, or limited access in extreme circumstances," said Shardul Shrimani, telecoms analyst at IHS Global Insight.

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