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RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis defended his company's stance on privacy.  (Source: The Globe and Mail)
Saudis first to ban devices, UAE promises ban in October

Just days after the United Arab Emirates announced it would be banning Blackberry services within its borders come October, Saudi Arabia has bettered the UAE, enacting a ban that takes effect across that country today, CNN reports.

The Saudi Press Agency issued a statement from the Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission asking mobile companies to block Blackberry services "because the manufacturer of the devices couldn't meet the regulatory requirements of the commission and it is not in accordance with the regulations and conditions of licenses issued to service providers, at its present state."

This is just the latest development in a back-and-forth between the Gulf countries and Research In Motion, the manufacturers of Blackberry, who responded by saying that not even they had the ability to access customer data.

The issue at hand, from the standpoint of the Saudi and UAE governments, is that Blackberry data is encrypted and sent to offshore services that can't be traced by local authorities. The Gulf states cite security concerns. 

DailyTech has been following the developments over the last few days and weeks. For more background, read this and this.

While RIM has come out to say that complying with the governments' requests would be impossible, the company's most recent response came from the Canadian company's CEO, Michael Lazaridis via The Wall Street Journal.

"Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off," Lazaridis told WSJ. He said that RIM was in discussions with the Gulf governments, and was confident that the standoff would be resolved. He cited the foreign nations' ignorance of the way that Internet and mobile services work as a major roadblock to negotiations.

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet," he told WSJ

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RE: To bad we can't ban
By MrBlastman on 8/5/2010 9:03:37 AM , Rating: 2
The reason these despots and tyrants are scared is because the very people that _hate_ their oppressive, religious (religion should always be separated from government) regimes could use this technology to co-ordinate a coup on them. They are obviously scared. I'm sure this isn't the only reason they don't want encrypted devices they can not track, but it is a large one.

If I had to bet money, these freaks would have towers set up around their cities that were able to leach into people's minds and read their thoughts. The second someone thought of something impure or in conflict with their religious beliefs, they would have them thrown in jail and tried--for only thinking about something.

What a sick, sick section of the world. The sooner we can wash our hands of them (and build a wall around them so they are stuck amongst themselves), the better. This area will never improve until the people that live there wake up and realize just how badly they are being treated, rise up, and overthrow those to keep them down.

RE: To bad we can't ban
By TerranMagistrate on 8/5/2010 9:33:49 AM , Rating: 2
And it certainly isn't a coincidence that those religious regimes you mentioned all happen to be founded on one specific religion: Islam.

This definitely isn't a recent phenomenon either.

"No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome."
- Winston Churchill

RE: To bad we can't ban
By nangryo on 8/5/2010 11:29:46 AM , Rating: 1
Isn't it the church threaten and have people killed because of thinking that earth is not the center of universe?

Isn't christian just the same when dealing with new unknown science

So I think it's all problem with all religion, not specific with islam only.

RE: To bad we can't ban
By dashrendar on 8/5/2010 11:52:45 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, but with one correction.

It's not religion that is a problem. It's people.

The reason would be religion if 100% of a religion's adherers understood it the same way and applied it the same way, which is never ever the case. Dubai didn't ban *all* data services, just those of RIM's Blackberry and for a specific reason. If you do a survey in the UAE, I'm sure a portion of the "backwards Mulsims" population would be against it since they were already using it.

It's not a religion issue, it's a national security vs privacy issue. Those people who keep saying it's Islam or religion are stupid. Islam is many things that those Gulf countries aren't to begin with.

RE: To bad we can't ban
By TerranMagistrate on 8/5/2010 1:05:45 PM , Rating: 2
1. Sure. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe we're currently in the 21st century.

2. No. Western civilization has largely embraced the concept of freedom.

3. Wrong. Islam and the regimes that are founded on it seem to hold the 95% monopoly on oppression, human rights violations, etc these days.

RE: To bad we can't ban
By nangryo on 8/5/2010 9:20:00 PM , Rating: 2
1. There are still many christian people that doesn't believe in evolution nor that the universe is just 6000 or little more old, nor many thing else. Just read the DT for some prove.

2. Yeah, so they shell out ACTA and regulations that "prevent" those freedoms. Just to say a few.

3. Seems.... , so which fact was that your claim were based for. I'm not pro Islamic, nor I pro Christian. But just to say logic, if Christian people back then so backward and anti science, yet now they are mostly pro with science and freedom, what makes you think that Islamic people cannot do the same?

Just like I say before, It's the people not the religion. So just put out religion out off this ok.

RE: To bad we can't ban
By nangryo on 8/5/2010 9:21:59 PM , Rating: 2

nor that they believe the universe is just 6000 or little more old, not some billion years old

RE: To bad we can't ban
By Motoman on 8/5/2010 3:09:59 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't matter what the religion is. Mixing religion and politics is always the worst possible decision that can ever be made.

RE: To bad we can't ban
By nangryo on 8/5/2010 11:35:04 AM , Rating: 2
What difference with people on China where the government control most of people freedom and activity? Whereas the government itself doesn't support religion. It's almost the same of what you are mentioning.

I meant, just leave the religion alone. It's more about power to control.

By inperfectdarkness on 8/5/2010 12:13:53 PM , Rating: 2
now just to put this in perspective...

saudia arabia, UAE, and qatar are our ALLIES. yep, the same countries which are worried about not being able to invade personal privacy are on our good side. these are de-facto theocracies.

al qaeda and bin laden dispise these theocracies because they aren't orthodox enough for his version of islam. i say again---THESE MUSLIMS AREN'T EXTREME ENOUGH FOR HIM. hence the takfiri movement.

just let that sink in for a few minutes. if our "friends" in this area live in such humanitarian "dark-ages"--it really puts into perspective the ones who aren't our friends; the ones who condemn our "friends" for not being theocratic enough. that's the type of fringe element we're dealing with here.

remember that the next time someone insinuates that we can reason with or negotiate a truce with these takfiri.

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