Research In Motion BlackBerry line of smartphones reportedly now poses a
security risk due to misuse, and now could pose a national security risk,
government regulators in the United Arab Emirates said over the weekend.
In a pubic statement released by the UAE government, the BlackBerry reportedly
operated "beyond the jurisdiction of national legislation."
The government was relatively scarce on specifics, but it appears there is
concern related to the use of BlackBerry's encrypted networks and doesn't comply
with the country's 2007 safety, emergency and national security legislation.
"As a result of how BlackBerry data is managed and stored, in their
current form, Certain BlackBerry applications allow people to misuse the service, causing serious
social, judicial and national security repercussions," the UAE
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority noted in a statement.
It's unclear if RIM plans to change how information is exported -- and whether
or not BlackBerry data use will continue to be taken offshore -- but a
resolution is expected quickly. It’d be surprising to hear RIM isn’t
working with the UAE government to try to resolve all of their concerns,
especially as the UAE enterprise and consumer mobile phone use continue to grow.
This is yet another problem RIM has faced working in the Gulf region, after
Bahrain relayed concerns of censorship related to the Blackberry Messenger.
Companies based in North America and Europe are familiar with western business
practices, but still struggle to conform with some governments. RIM is
currently preparing an app and ISP service in China, and must adhere to strict
Chinese guidelines regarding censorship.
RIM still currently holds the No. 2 position in the global smartphone market,
with the company still trailing Nokia. Apple remains in the No. 3
position, but is currently making up ground on RIM and Nokia, recent analyst