TRA to ban Blackberry services from October

UAE’s telecoms regulator confirms plan to ban Blackberry services, citing security issues

Tags: BlackBerryBlackBerry MessengerEmirates Integrated Telecommunications Company Etisalat International - UAEResearch In MotionTelecommunications Regulatory Authority - UAEUnited Arab Emirates
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TRA to ban Blackberry services from October The UAE's TRA said it will ban Blackberry services from October. (ITP Images)
By  Roger Field Published  August 1, 2010

The UAE's telecom regulator, the TRA, will suspend Research in Motion's Blackberry services, including email and web browsing, from October 11.

The TRA said in a statement that its decision was due to "the failure of ongoing attempts" spanning two years to bring Blackberry services in the UAE in line with the country's telecoms regulations. The regulator added that it had already informed the UAE's two telecoms operators, Etisalat and Du, of its decision.

Data from Blackberry users is immediately encrypted and sent to the company's data centres in Canada, rather than being processed locally, and this puts the services at odds with the UAE's telecoms regulatory framework, which was established by the TRA in 2007.

"Blackberry data is immediately exported off-shore, where it is managed by a foreign, commercial organization. Blackberry data services are currently the only data services operating in the UAE where this is the case," the TRA said in a statement.

"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."

Mohamed Al Ghanim, director general, TRA, said: "The TRA notes that Blackberry appears to be compliant in similar regulatory environments of other countries, which makes non-compliance in the UAE both disappointing and of great concern."

Canada-based Research in Motion is facing problems from a growing number of countries that have a problem with encrypted data bypassing their security agencies. The government of India has already threatened to stop Blackberry services in the country unless RIM finds a way of sharing its customer's data with its security agencies, after rumours emerged that RIM had already reached a compromise with Chinese authorities.

3182 days ago

UAE publicly admits they want access to the users data , messages , emails and any type of electronic communication
they are not after granting the privacy of the user they are after the user him\herself m typical Arab government way of thinking
everything is a threat to government !!!

3182 days ago

I am not sure why TRA is rushing on its decision without warning any user community. They need to factor business impact of organisation who rely on BB services.

3183 days ago
Khawar Nehal

There are ways in which the snooping could be done without the issues of RIM.
The emails can also be snooped upon if required.
A system can be developed in which TRA gets the control however a tighter monitoring policy needs to be developed which maintains the secrecy within TRA.
Many of the businesses would trust the UAE gov over a gov like USA's FBI, CIA or NSA.
Due to the popularity of the movies which brand USA's monitoring as insecure.

Send ideas on what needs to be done and maybe some solution can be hacked out. Not the media hack.


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