Saudi Arabia to Ban BlackBerry Services Starting August 5

Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission have asked mobile communications companies operating in Saudi Arabia to halt BlackBerry service in the kingdom beginning August 5, 2010.

According to the report of the official Saudi Press Agency, the mandate applies to businesses and individuals “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.”

Apart from this statement it did not provide any other elaborate explanation for the move to ban BlackBerry services in the Kingdom.

The announcement came at the heels of UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba’s statement that, “…the UAE is asking for exactly the same regulatory compliance — and with the same principles of judicial and regulatory oversight — that BlackBerry grants the U.S. and other governments and nothing more… Importantly, the UAE requires the same compliance as the U.S. for the very same reasons: to protect national security and to assist in law enforcement.”

Research In Motion (RIM), BlackBerry’s manufacturer have yet to issue a statement on the matter.

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