Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Rising into the ranks of Haute Couture

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

A thin line between fact-checking and propaganda in Gaza social media coverage

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FOCUS

Ireland's missing babies cast light on dark history

Read more

WEB NEWS

World Cup 2014: Germany-Brazil inspires the Web

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

  • Video: Palestinians fear full Israeli military offensive in Gaza

    Read more

  • Video: Living in Tel Aviv, under threat of rocket attack

    Read more

  • Manhunt as FIFA partner flees Rio hotel to avoid arrest

    Read more

  • US prepared to negotiate Gaza ceasefire, Obama says

    Read more

  • French companies will have to accept anonymous CVs

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces close in on Donetsk

    Read more

  • Germany asks US intelligence station chief to leave country

    Read more

  • UN chief Ban Ki-moon appoints new Syria mediator

    Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • Tour de France passes WWI Chemin des Dames battlefield

    Read more

  • Senegalese man awarded French visa in gay marriage debate

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

Business

Security fears prompt UAE to suspend Blackberry services

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-01

The United Arab Emirates announced on Sunday that it will suspend the use of Blackberry services in October, citing legal accountability and security concerns. The decision will affect some 500,000 million users in the state.

REUTERS - The United Arab Emirates will suspend use of Blackberry services in October, citing concerns about security risks, and affecting half a million users in the Gulf Arab state.

The UAE said on Sunday it would halt Blackberry services on October 11 until an "acceptable solution" is developed and applied.
 
"It's a final decision but we are continuing discussions with them," Mohammed Al Ghanem, director general of the UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) told Reuters.
 
"Censorship has got nothing to do with this. What we are talking about is suspension due to the lack of compliance with UAE telecommunications regulations."
 
The UAE objects to Blackberry data being exported offshore and managed by a "foreign, commercial operation". The regulator said Blackberry data services are the only ones operating in that method. The decision will not affect users of rival Nokia and Apple's iPhone smartphones.
 
"Today's decision is based on the fact that, 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," the TRA said.
 
Officials at Blackberry manufacturer Research In Motion  in Canada were not immediately available for comment.
 
The suspension of Blackberry Messenger, email and web browsing services comes after attempts dating back to 2007 to bring the service into line with regulations, the TRA said.
 
The UAE expressed concern last week that the device is open to misuse that poses security risks -- a move some took as dissatisfaction with the inability to monitor the popular Blackberry Messenger service.
 
"The government regards the services offered by BlackBerry, especially its instant messaging, as an obstacle to its goal of reinforcing censorship, filtering and surveillance," Reporters Without Borders said in a statement on July 26.
 
Proxy server
 
BlackBerry, which holds around 20 percent of the global smartphone market behind Nokia but ahead of Apple, has an estimated 500,000 users in the UAE.
 
Blackberry is carried in the UAE by du telecom and Emirates Telecommunications (Etisalat), which said it would find an alternative for its clients.
 
Last year, RIM said a software upgrade distributed by Etisalat to Blackberry users was in fact "a telecommunications surveillance application."
 
"I think there will be such an uproar, it probably won't happen and a solution will be found," said Irfan Ellam, Al Mal Capital telecoms analyst, referring to the mooted Blackberry services ban.
 
He said RIM had been asked to set up a proxy server in India to allow the government there to monitor traffic from a security perspective and the same approach might resolve the issue in the UAE and elsewhere.
 
"Blackberry is seen as essential by many companies, so if you want to attract business to your country it doesn't make much sense to ban these Blackberry services," said Ellam.
 
Etisalat, with the lion's share of Blackberry users in the UAE, and du said they will offer alternative services to clients but did not elaborate. Shares in du fell nearly 1 percent on Dubai's main index and Etisalat slipped 0.5 percent in Abu Dhabi .
 
Bahrain in April warned against the use of Blackberry Messenger software to distribute local news and India raised security concerns with the Canadian company last week.
 
India's Internal Security Chief U.K. Bansal told reporters that maker RIM had said Indian concerns that militants may use the BlackBerry data services would be resolved soon.
 
A spokesman for Bahrain's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said on Sunday there was no action to suspend Blackberry services in the Gulf island kingdom.
 
RIM shares rose last week on speculation that it might unveil a new touchscreen BlackBerry 9800 this week to compete more effectively with the iPhone and models.

 

Date created : 2010-08-01

Comments

COMMENT(S)