UPDATE: BlackBerry Ban Will Extend to Foreign Visitors in UAE

The United Arab Emirates’ Telecommunication Regulatory Authority has announced via email to the Associated Press that the “service suspension would apply to all users in the country, including visitors using roaming services on foreign BlackBerry phones”

The question of whether phones run by foreign operators is included in the UAE’s crackdown on BlackBerry services was left unanswered when UAE officials announced the plans surrounding the ban which is due to take effect Oct. 11, but this recent development has ended the quandary on whether roaming services on foreigner’s phone will be affected.

This means time-pressed business travelers hurrying through the region’s busiest airport in Dubai will be without access to the Web or their e-mail on their Blackberry phones.

The UAE main contention is that some BlackBerry features operate outside the country’s laws, “causing judicial, social and national security concerns.” This concern has a lot to do with the way the BlackBerry handles data, which is encrypted and routed through RIM’s servers overseas, where it “cannot be monitored for illegal activity”.

Device maker RIM (Research in Motion Ltd.) has so far declined to comment.

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