04 August 2010

Saudi Arabia announces BlackBerry ban

(CNET)
Saudi Arabia has ordered the country's cell phone service providers to halt all BlackBerry services, the latest Mideast nation to announce moves to exercise greater control over data sent by the Research In Motion phones. The country's Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) on Tuesday asked Saudi Telecom, Mobily, and Zain Saudi Arabia to suspend service to BlackBerry phones. The suspension was being implemented because BlackBerry The suspension was being implemented because BlackBerry service "in its present state does not meet regulatory requirements". "CITC has informed the three mobile telecommunications providers more than a year ago of the need to quickly fulfill with the manufacturer of BlackBerry handsets the required regulatory requirements". The prohibition is expected to impact about 700,000 BlackBerry users in Saudi Arabia. The announcement comes just days after Saudi Arabia's neighbor, the United Arab Emirates, announced it would block e-mail, instant messaging, and Web browsing on BlackBerry devices starting October 11 if it fails to reach an agreement with RIM to bring BlackBerry services in the region in line with UAE telecommunications regulations. The UAE has complained that the security used to encrypt the BlackBerry data violates its regulations and prevents it from monitoring such data in the name of national security.