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Saudi Arabia to follow, claims report

UAE to ban BlackBerry services

The United Arab Emirates has said that it plans to ban BlackBerry smartphone services due to data being held off shore.

The conservative regime’s issue with the BlackBerry is that the system routinely moves encrypted data to servers hosted abroad which the government said could no be "monitored" for illegal activity. 

One of the reasons the BlackBerry is popular in business is because of the centralised encrypted storage capability which has the benefit of providing a high level of security and the mechanism for an audit trail of communications to employee BlackBerry smartphones should it be necessary.

Paradoxically it’s same high level of security which the UAE finds objectionable and in 2009 the state run communications company Etisalat told all BlackBerry users to install software which was described as an "update" but which BlackBerry manufacturer RIM called "spyware" and subsequently advised customers to uninstall it. 

Business Week reported that a "telecommunication official" in Saudi Arabia said that the move would be mirrored in the neighbouring middle eastern state but so far this has yet to be confirmed by any official statement from Saudi Arabia. 

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