UAE Marked BlackBerry as Risk to Security

The United Arab Emirates Authorities said that it would monitor and worst restrict Blackberry phone as they observed that it poses a “national security risk”.

According to telecoms regulator, “BlackBerry operates beyond the jurisdiction of national legislation” because it stores its data offshore. They are mainly concern about having it misused and it may lead to “serious social, judicial and national security repercussions”.

This move by the UAE by the authorities were marked as being repressive. Reporters Without Borders, a renowned media freedom watchdog told BBC News that while the UAE was playing a “technological leadership role in the Arab world” this was backed by “repressive laws” and a “general trend of intensified surveillance”.

Research in Motion (RIM) has been using encrypted networks that is giving the government difficulty in monitoring communications. Although BlackBerry went on sale in their country before these security legislation has been approved, they are still concluding that it operates beyond the jurisdiction of national legislation, since it is the only device operating in the UAE that immediately exports its data offshore and is managed by a foreign, commercial organisation

This would then be resulting to users misusing the applications which could somehow cause serious social, judicial and national security repercussions.

At this point in time, RIM has not yet given any comment for this matter.

July of last year, there erupted an issue between RIM and the state telecoms firm Etisalat. The latter released an “update” to the handsets which is according to RIM, a spyware.

The state has been trying to trace all the transmission of the mobile phones. They strongly against BlackBerry Messenger and has been campaigning against it strongly. The believed that through this messenger, which has been very popular among the young generation has been the means to discuss sensitive issues such as official corruption and Oil price isuues.

If you’re in UAE, please feel free to comment about this matter.

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