Dubal boss: I fully support the Blackberry ban

Dubai Aluminium's IT chief has come out in favour of blocking the Blackberry service if no solution can be found to the current impasse.

Tags: BlackBerryBlackBerry MessengerBlackberry (www.blackberry.com)Dubai Aluminium CompanyResearch In MotionUnited Arab Emirates
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Dubal boss: I fully support the Blackberry ban As an enterprise, we don’t need to monitor BBM, says Dubal's Al Mulla.
By  Imthishan Giado Published  September 5, 2010

As the Blackberry standoff between RIM and the UAE continues without a resolution in sight, Dubai Aluminium's (Dubal) top IT boss has added his voice to those in favour of blocking the service.

Ahmad Al Mulla, vice president of IT, believes that people often misunderstand what the real issue is behind the Blackberry situation: "What is going on is nothing to do with security. What is going on is to do with national security. What happens is that on the Blackberry, things are encrypted. If you try to do anything, the national security guys cannot see or interfere."

"For me, this is security - that is why it is a national concern. I fully support what the government is doing. They are absolutely right," he states.

Al Mulla goes on further, stating that in the restricted Blackberry space, much of what occurring is against the cultural ethos of the UAE.

"A lot of people can take rumours and say things using the Blackberry Messenger (BBM). Also, the internet is open and people can access any site from it. It's also a very fast media to distribute news. That is a big concern from the national security point of view."

But as far as Dubai's infrastructure  is concerned, adds Al Mulla, he is personally satisfied with the level of security that the Canadian manufacturer offers. He also doesn't monitor what's happening in the devices in his organisation.

"From the enterprise security [point of view] there is absolutely no issues. It's good security for the enterprise - my e-mail is going and I know it's secure and encrypted.  As an enterprise, we don't need to monitor BBM. We don't care about BBM as an enterprise. It is not our concern at all," he categorically states.

For more of Ahmad Al Mulla's comments, look to the cover story in this month's copy of Network Middle East about Blackberry security.


3136 days ago
Nader Almansoori

With all due respect, I think the person mentioned in the article above should buy another degree somewhere else. If we,the country and the people of the UAE, are technology importer, do you really know what is inside this software.Actually you barely touch a code in your life because if you do you know what you can put in some simple line of code! So whatever software you are talking about might be actually monitored by someone else and you, sir, have no way to see this because the best you can do is to bring another consultancy company from OVERSEAS to audit your security infrastructure. That's why I say even Emiratis lost the sense to criticize logically.
Regarding the TRA , I challenge TRA to have a serious engineering department. Most of the decisions are made through consultancy companies who are actually enjoying to accuse so everyone will listen to them. What you can do with blackberry, you can do with any devices such as Symbian, Android or even IPhone. And if I am operating an organized crime, I could pay developers to come up with a software to make it easier to communicate without really the surveillance of monkeys.

3144 days ago
Hussein Jamal

What a lot of nonsense. Bad guys have a million ways to communicate in code. This only tarnishes UAE's image as a business friendly country. Plus, lot of this is total mismanagement by Etisalat. When they made the deal with RIM, TRA could have easily imposed on Etisalat to offer a citizens service in the form of a BES, hence keeping the servers here. Sad, very sad. No Skype, no Blackberry, what's next. You know, there is a reason why a lot of us operate in UAE and not KSA. Don't cut down those reasons.

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