BlackBerry co-CEO slams govt attempts to block services

RIM co-founder says "If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off"

Tags: BlackBerryBlackBerry MessengerIndiaResearch In MotionSaudi ArabiaUnited Arab Emirates
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BlackBerry co-CEO slams govt attempts to block services Lazaridis said that many regulators did not understand the technology behind BlackBerry and the Internet.
By  Mark Sutton Published  August 5, 2010

The co-founder of BlackBerry, Michael Lazaridis, has lashed out at foreign governments over the issue of banning BlackBerry services, saying "if they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off".

Speaking in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Lazaridis, who is co-CEO of the company said that his company is being unfairly singled out by governments including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which are proposing bans of various BlackBerry services for security regions.

Lazaridis told the WSJ: "This is about the Internet. 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."

In the interview, Lazaridis said that the problem lay with foreign governments that did not have a good grasp of how BlackBerry technology works, but held out hopes that the issue could be resolved through further discussion.

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet. A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science," he said.

"We have dealt with this before. This will get resolved. And it will get resolved if there is a chance for rational discussion," Lazridis added.

Saudi Arabia is set to block the BlackBerry Messenger service tomorrow, although RIM was reportedly in discussion with the telecommunications regulator and operators in the country, and was hopeful of for an agreement, according to the WSJ.

The UAE TRA yesterday said that the ban was final, but that it was still open to discussion.

2680 days ago
MindSmith

The comments made by a supposed C-level exec of RIM telling foreign countries to shutdown their Internet show his arrogant stupidity about the world in general. It is strange RIM nor execs had the guts to tell the US govt exactly the same thing; when RIM willing complied with the US's more stringent requests for interception and tracking of Blackberry users.

If RIM can’t fulfill the regulatory requirements of foreign countries, and thheir co-founder can't keep his short-sighted and ill-conceived rantings to himself - they shoudl simply put their money where their mouth is & shutdown RIM operations within those countries rather than trying to rally people like Clinton to RIM's defense.

It’s no wonder RIM appear to be so arrogant – when they are led by such a short-sighted, misguided, arrogant, sorry excuse for an executive with little understanding of much in this world beyond what his PR execs have spoon fed him.

Breaking news for RIM Co-founder …the “W-O-R-L-D” extends beyond US and Canadian borders ...if you cant handle these global requirements then go back to being a Canadian (not global) company again, eh.

2686 days ago
Raahul

Unless RIM agrees to open the decryption rights to ISP's / Governments, it should be banned. Lots of untraceable terrorist communication can be possible this way. ISP's already have track of everyone's internet and GSM Mobile usage. Still people do not feel any trouble and all are freely using. Government is not going to publish these privacy details to the whole world. So why worry? When did these so called privacy issues came into picture?

Hillary Clinton is considered about privacy, is a very funny thing. I hope she gives more privacy to her hubby Mr. Clinton for his next Monica... Does America still want to give untapped communication provision, even after they had so many bad experiences? This is not 18th century. All the communication should be audited. So why is anyone worried about tapping if they are NOT doing anything illegal? Sorry, Mr. Clinton ;-)

2687 days ago
Loay Kassissieh

until when these people will keep thinking that Arab are equals! and who the hell is this Michael Lazaridis to say that "A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science"
well, i am a holder of a computer science degree, and I am telling you what you are missing... whenever there is an encryption, there is a decryption, and it is the right of any country to watch over its national security, and therefore, control and understand any data-flow that is sent or received through their service providers... i don't think we woiuld have hear the same if it was USA making this request, although I do believe that they alrteady have all decryption algorithms and do monitor BBM.

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