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The international controversy around RIM’s security measures continues to grow in size. According to the Economic Times , Indonesia is the latest country (along with the UAE and Saudi Arabia) to demand a change to RIM’s policy of encrypting and routing emails through its own servers. The countries deem this a threat to their sovereignty, and want RIM to install local servers rather than direct traffic internationally. RIM was unmoved, saying: The BlackBerry enterprise solution was designed to preclude RIM or any third party, from reading encrypted information under any circumstances, since RIM does not store or have access to the encrypted data. Any claims that we provide, or have ever provided, something unique to the government of one country that we have not offered to the governments of all countries are unfounded.
The United Arab Emirates’ Telecommunications Regulation Authority (TRA) and The Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) announced, respectively on August 1st 2010 and on August 5th, 2010, that they will block some functions of the Blackberry due to non-compliance with the regulatory requirements in both countries. And while the UAE will cut off some BlackBerry services such as BlackBerry Messenger, BlackBerry E-mail and BlackBerry Web-browsing as of October 11, 2010, Saudi Arabia had ordered the kingdom's three mobile phone providers, Etihad Etisalat-Mobily, Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Zain Saudi Arabia, to block all BlackBerry's services, including e-mail and instant messaging, starting from tomorrow, Friday, August 6th, 2010.
By PHRED DVORAK in New York and MARGARET COKER in Abu Dhabi The Obama administration stepped into the spat over some foreign governments' plans to restrict use of the BlackBerry this fall, acknowledging security concerns but stressing users' rights to unfettered access to email and the Internet. Lebanon expresses security concerns over the use of Research in Motion's BlackBerry as a growing number of nation's are considering or have issued orders to block BlackBerry service. Now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is weighing in on the issue. Plus, wheat futures soar to their highest levels in two years after Russia said it would ban grain exports due to a severe drought.
Even when you’re one of the largest mobile companies in the world (and certainly the largest for the business elite), things change when you find yourself at odds with a sovereign nation. Or a few. That’s the situation RIM is in right now as they attempt to reconcile their longtime promise to users (uncompromising encryption and security) with the unforgiving world of global politics. As you’re likely aware if you’re reading this post, RIM has been the center of government ire in a few countries (most prominently the UAE, India, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia), which have threatened to ban Blackberry devices if RIM doesn’t provide them reasonable access to users’ data. RIM’s response was a stolid “relax,” but the public response appears to be different from the internal one, if reports from inside the company are true.
A Saudi man checks a BlackBerry phone at a store in Riyadh. Photograph: Fahad Shadeed/Reuters The threat of a ban on certain BlackBerry functions has been temporarily lifted in Saudi Arabia , a government regulator revealed today. Saudi Arabia's Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) said BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion (RIM) had successfully completed "part of the regulatory requirements" over the weekend, allowing a temporary reprieve to the ongoing threat of a blockage to services including email and web browsing on the company's handsets.
Despite announcing its intentions to block web services from BlackBerry devices starting last week, Saudi Arabia has allowed them to continue functioning unimpeded while BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion tries to resolve the country’s security complaints with the smartphones. The country originally set a deadline for Friday August 6 to block the services, and it also let a second deadline go by at midnight last night, reports BusinessWeek . The news comes after the Obama administration announced its intentions to mediate discussions between RIM and countries with similar concerns to Saudi Arabia. Regarding the leeway, Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission said: “Given the positive development in the completion of part of the regulatory requirements by service providers, the Commission decided to allow the continuation of BlackBerry Messenger service.”
Looks like RIM has dodged a bullet in India, at least for the time being. The BlackBerry maker has provided the Indian government with “proposals for local security agencies to monitor BlackBerry service” so that, when necessary, the Indian government can tap into BlackBerry users’ email. And while that may not sound too positive a development, it was either that or risk an outright ban.
BlackBerry dominates the North American smartphone market, enjoying almost 40 per cent market share. A 20 per cent worldwide market share isn’t exactly a bad thing, too. The total subscriber base for the BlackBerry platform is more than 50 million users. Today, we are proud to present world’s first tool to facilitate forensic analysis of BlackBerry devices by enabling access to protected data stored on users’ BlackBerries. One of the reasons of BlackBerry high popularity is its ultimate security .