The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) state news agency is reporting that the service of Blackberry users will not be interrupted next week. Next week would have been the deadline that the UAE had given Blackberry manufacturer RIM to become compliant with their telecommunications regulations. The UAE would have suspended all of the Blackberry services.
The UAE wanted to be able to access messages sent by Blackberry users. RIM uses a system of encryption as the messages leave their servers as a safeguard for its users. This was a violation of the UAE’s regulations as the government wanted open access. The government claimed the encrypted data service could be used by terrorists or by those who would want to mock Islamic laws.
The UAE’s news agency reported: “The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has confirmed that Blackberry services are now compliant with the UAE’s telecommunications regulatory framework. Therefore all Blackberry services in the UAE will continue to operate as normal and no suspension of service will occur on October 11, 2010.”
RIM has had their encryption service disputed by Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Lebanon and India. In August RIM relented and allowed limited access to Indian government which extended their deadline for RIM.
While some governments are arguing for more access to Blackberry phones and feel their security measures are too extreme, others are concerned they aren’t secure enough. Three years ago France deemed that Blackberry phones were not secure enough and banned any officials from using them in fear of leaked data. The US President, Barack Obama, was an avid Blackberry user before he was elected. Security of his Blackberry data was questioned after he became President and he was told the smartphone had to go, but he fought to keep his Blackberry and extra security measures were put on his phone so he could continue using the phone.