UAE Defends Decision to Suspend BlackBerry

UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba, defended his government’s decision to suspend BlackBerry services after criticism were hurled at the Middle Eastern nation’s planned restriction of BlackBerry’s email, instant messaging and web browsing services which will affect even the roaming services of foreign visitors to UAE.

Ambassador Al Otaiba said the comments were “disappointing and contradict the U.S. government’s own approach to telecommunications regulation.”

He added, “It is regrettable that after several years of discussions, BlackBerry is still not compliant with UAE regulatory requirements even as it complies with similar policies in other countries.”

P.J. Crowley, U.S. State Department spokesman, called the move “a dangerous precedent.”

He said the United States understood the Emirates’ concerns “about how information can be used by those who wish to attack the UAE or others,” but added, “We think this (banning Blackberry services) is not necessarily the best way to accomplish it.”

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