UAE and Saudi Arabia Plans to Ban Blackberry Services

If you are planning to go to UAE or Saudi Arabia, you might want to bring a back-up roaming mobile phone or laptop. The United Arab Emirates revealed plans last Sunday to block Blackberry’s email, messaging and web browsing services in view of potential security threat.

The government is concerned that because encrypted data sent on Blackberry’s devices are “moved abroad”, it cannot be monitored for illegal activity.  

Christopher Davidson, a professor at the University of Durham in Britain said, “The authorities have used a variety of arguments, like it can be used by terrorists” to justify the crackdown Blackberry services.

UAE’s decision, followed by a similar move in Saudi Arabia, will prevent hundreds of thousands of Blackberry users from accessing e-mail and the internet on their handsets starting in October.

However, it is still unclear whether the ban will extend to foreign visitors with roaming services. Just for good measure you might want to bring an extra roaming phone or even an internet-enabled laptop.

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