“BlackBerry users in the United Arab Emirates will soon be unable to send emails and messages without fear of government snooping, under tighter restrictions on internet communication in the Gulf state. The UAE is to ban individuals and small businesses from using the most secure BlackBerry settings – for email, web browsing and BlackBerry Messenger – as part of security fears sweeping the Middle East. Only companies with more than 20 BlackBerry accounts will be able to access the encrypted BlackBerry service, which is favoured by corporate users and government agencies.………”
“TORONTO—The United Arab Emirates has said it will stop individuals and small businesses from using Research In Motion Ltd.’s highly secured BlackBerry corporate-email services. The restriction, effective May 1, applies only to individuals and businesses with fewer than 20 subscriptions to BlackBerry Enterprise Services accounts, said a spokeswoman for the U.A.E.’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. The regulator didn’t give a reason for its decision.…………..”
This is a case of dumb rulers facing down smart phones and winning: too much money at stake for RIMM. Besides, the UAE is the second biggest importer of weapons in the whole wide world, aspiring to become the first biggest importer of weapons in the whole wide wonderful world. Even though it probably has the 3rd or 4th smallest native population in the world. Would RIMM want to face that? A Canuck corporation against four million imported third world foreign laborers and housemaids with access to acres of weapons rusting in the desert? In Bahrain it is the other way around: it is the case of a smart people facing down dumb rulers (well, maybe dumb but greedy enough and with powerful friends). Where I am now, I use my Blackberry without fear of the al-Nahayan boys and their snoops reading my private email. Of course, someone else might, but I don’t know that.