Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

United Arab Emirates to suspend BlackBerry service

By CNN Wire Staff


DUBAI (CNN) -- The United Arab Emirates has decided to ban the web operations of more than half a million BlackBerry users until security issues can be hashed out, the state news agency reported.

The state-run Emirates News Agency said the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has confirmed that BlackBerry Messenger, BlackBerry E-mail and BlackBerry web-browsing services in the UAE will be suspended as of October 11.

The news agency said that 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.

"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," the news agency reported.

Telecom expert Abdel Rahman al Mazi told CNN that the ban will go into effect October 11, but government officials hope to work out the issues to avoid such a move.

"This is not a new thing ... it has been discussed in other countries," al-Mazi said. "If they put enough pressure on BlackBerry ...they would come with a solution that will be acceptable.

"Many people in the industry say BlackBerry (is) the most secure system, so secure that nobody can break the security level of BlackBerry.... but on that same wavelength you have to think that some of the activities that go on within the BlackBerry user community could need to be monitored by some government agencies for security reasons."

"As a telecom person I would love to see BlackBerry stay," he added.

Research in Motion (RIMM), the maker of the BlackBerry, was not immediately available for comment. To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,143.45 -195.79 -1.07%
Nasdaq 5,269.15 -49.40 -0.93%
S&P 500 2,151.13 -20.24 -0.93%
Treasuries 1.56 -0.01 -0.64%
Data as of 10:20pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Chesapeake Energy Co... 6.12 -0.63 -9.33%
Bank of America Corp... 15.16 -0.22 -1.43%
Procter & Gamble Co 88.23 -1.23 -1.37%
Wells Fargo & Co 44.37 -0.94 -2.07%
Qualcomm Inc 67.45 4.00 6.30%
Data as of 4:15pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

Lawmakers grill Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf about CNNMoney report on the bank retaliating against whistleblowers who flagged fake accounts. More

A 16-year-old Chipotle worker won $7.65 million from the company after she was sexually assaulted by her 26-year-old manager. More

Facebook is now available in 101 languages, including nine languages that are said to be in danger of going extinct. More

California workers who don't already have access to a retirement plan at work will soon be enrolled in a new state-run IRA savings plan. More