UAE To Block BlackBerry Services

Paul Lilly

We can think of several items that should be included in the ultimate spy kit, most of them fake, but totally awesome gadgets conceived by Hollywood. Out in the real world, however, it's those pesky BlackBerry devices that hav the United Arab Emirates in a tizzy.

Starting October 11, the UAE will block all BlackBerry email , messaging, and Web services so long as authorities are unable to access the encrypted data. Doing so will effectively hamstring about 500,000 local subscribers and have BlackBerry toting tourists thinking twice about their travel destination.

The reason for the hard stance has to do with concerns over espionage and fear of information sharing. Dubai's police chief, Lt. Gen. Dahi Kahlfan Tamim said the restrictions are also "meant to control false rumors and defamation of public figures due to the absence of surveillance."

The UEA isn't alone here. India has given RIM 60 days to allow authorities to monitor BlackBerry traffic, while Saudi Arabia has concerns of its own, though did allow services to continue last month following "positive developments" in talks with RIM.

Image Credit:

Around the web