UAE to Block Access to Some BlackBerry Services

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Officials in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have previously made threats to ban BlackBerry services over it’s inability to access email and other encrypted communications, and have since decided not to follow through with those threats. Now there is a new twist in the saga as the UAE is banning access to some BlackBerry services. The argument is that BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) services are too secure, making it very attractive for criminal and terrorist groups to communicate without fear of interception.

UAE’s National newspaper reported Saturday that the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) would limit access to high security BES accounts to businesses with 20 or more subscriptions. The policy would be industry-wide, affecting all enterprise solution providers, and small businesses would still be able to use BlackBerry internet service and encrypted messaging.

The UAE had previously resolved it’s dispute with RIM only days before it’s October 11 deadline to block access, with no details of the agreement reached beyond BlackBerry services becoming compliant with TRA regulations. TRA says that it will clarify “any confusion” regarding the new policy in the coming week, with the ruling coming into effect on May 1st.

Source: Reuters

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