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.
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."
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
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
been following the developments over the last few days and weeks. For
more background, read this and this.
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.
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
are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand
the reality of the Internet," he told WSJ.