Blackberry Services are blocked in Saudi Arabia

According to the Saudi Press Agency, the Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission has asked the mobile companies to block Blackberry service with effect from 5th of August. The Government finds it as a threat for their security because the data of Blackberry is accessed on remote servers.

According to an extract the Saudi government claims that “It will be applicable to both, the businesses and individuals because the manufacturer of the devices could not 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.”

Affects of the decision

Thousand of users would be unable to access their e-mails and the Web on their handsets from October. It would also affect the foreign visitors which in turn would affect the tourism sector.

According to the Emirates’ Telecom Regulator, the visitors to Dubai and important oil industry center of Abu Dhabi would have to manage without the Blackberry’s email, Web and messaging services. They can only use their Blackberry handsets for calls.

The authorities have taken this decision because the Blackberry data is routed to company computers abroad and it is difficult to keep a check on any kind of illegal activity and/or abuse. Though the concerned authorities have taken a step back and decided to do the same, the people in Emirates disliked the decision. They are showing their concerns about staying in touch with their clients and colleagues.

According to the spokesman of U.S. State Government, P.J. Crowley, such a technological limitation is “a move in the wrong direction.” He also said, “We are going to clarify with the UAE what’s behind this announcement, but we think it sets a dangerous precedent. It is our view that you should be opening up societies to these new technologies that have the opportunity to empower people.”

The Emirates’ Ambassador said that they are only asking Research In Motion to comply with their rules and regulations, just the way RIM does with the laws of USA and other countries.

People In Dubai are Concerned

The commission has taken a hard decision which is going to affect the tourism and business sector of Emirates. People are worried about the same as Emirates has a debt of more than $ 100 billion. Dubai’s reputation is not very good even at present and this kind of restriction is only going to worsen it. According to the people, Dubai is way behind in technology, instead of banning services, the authorities should look out for more advanced technologies.

According to a statement of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority Director-General Mohamed Al-Ghanim, “With no solution available and in the public interest, BlackBerry E-mail, Web-browsing and Messenger services will be suspended until an acceptable solution can be developed and applied,”

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