CNN just reported that the Saudi Communications and the Information Technology Commission have asked the mobile communications companies in Saudi Arabia to stop the BlackBerry service commencing August 5th, BBM only to be exact. This will be applied to both businesses and individuals. So why? Keep reading…
Their reason is by the following statement: “because the manufacturer of the devices couldn’t 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.”
The UAE is setting their ban for October 11th. The reason for their bans is that they claim that the BlackBerry service leaves open communication that is encrypted and they don’t have access to that information. The U.S. State Department spokesperson, P.J. Crowley stated that the U.S. supports the free flow of information. He also feels that this move sets a dangerous precedent.
The Saudi Communications have yet to elaborate on the decision and RIM has not responded yet. Knowing that Saudi has decided to join in, it leads one to wonder if Kuwait will be next. The UAE is claiming that all they want is the same regulatory compliance that RIM extends to U.S. and other governments.
BBM is seen as a trend for the younger generation they feel is adverse to their culture.
What I want to know is how can an individual be protected from what those countries would deem to be unlawful, such as looking up a site they consider bad or sending pictures that they may consider to be wrong. They aren’t willing to go by the rules Canada and the U.S. abide by, such as the freedom of speech, so what would protect our families and friends who are visiting?
Tricking users into installing spyware to monitor their information isn’t exactly abiding by the law, but then again they have their own laws, which is why it would be important for RIM to protect their data and their customers. Giving in to them may lead to ridiculous arrests and worse if they were given full access.