UAE goes back on planned BlackBerry services ban

The United Arab Emirates said on Friday that a ban on BlackBerry services that had been due to come into effect next week will not go ahead.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority confirmed that Blackberry services are now compliant with the UAE's telecommunications regulatory framework in a statement carried by the official WAM news agency.

"BlackBerry services will carry on as usual and will not be suspended on October 11," the statement said.

In late August, the UAE said that, from October 11, it would block BlackBerry messenger, web browsing and email services because they "allow individuals to commit violations" that cannot be monitored.

But the TRA statement acknowledged "the positive engagement and collaboration of Research In Motion (RIM) in reaching this regulatorily compliant outcome."

A TRA official had said earlier this week that the decision to suspend the services was "final."

However, "we remain open to discussions in order that an acceptable, regulatorily compliant solution might be developed and applied," the official told AFP at the time.

Since the TRA announced it was planning the ban, the market for BlackBerry handsets has languished in the oil-rich Gulf state, where there are some 500,000 savvy users.

BlackBerry sales have fallen by around 40 percent, said a supervisor in an electronics shop, Kishore Kumar.

"Those still buying the device are basically tourists," he added.

BlackBerry has faced similar snags in Saudi Arabia and India, where the authorities fear heavy encryption makes BlackBerry convenient for terrorists to use without being detected.

The Saudi telecommunications authority announced in early August that it had ordered the country's three providers to block key BlackBerry services or face a 1.3-million-dollar fine as of August 6.

At the time, the regulator had said "the way BlackBerry services are provided currently does not meet the regulatory criteria of the commission and the licensing conditions."

But only days later, it indefinitely postponed the ban after reporting progress in efforts to find a solution that would allow authorities to monitor encrypted messages on the popular smartphone.

Subscribers number around 700,000 in Saudi Arabia, where Internet service is strictly censored.

BlackBerry's encrypted emails and data are stored on servers in Canada, the headquarters of RIM, meaning that third parties such as intelligence agencies cannot monitor communications.

Outside the Arab world, the firm is making progress in talks with India over New Delhi's demands to be able to intercept encrypted messages carried by the smartphone, according to latest reports.

New Delhi had initially threatened to ban BlackBerry's corporate email service if the firm failed to come up with ways to monitor it by the end of August. Now it has said it will review the situation near the end of October.

India has said RIM will have to set up a server if it wishes to continue in the country and said it will study the feasibility of services provided through such a server located in India.

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
news
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

    £70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - SQL Server, T-SQL

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

    Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Data Analyst (SQL Server, T-SQL, data)

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...

    Ashdown Group: European Recruitment Manager - Cheshire - up to £48,000

    £40000 - £48000 per annum + bonus and benefits: Ashdown Group: European Recrui...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
    Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

    Confessions of a former PR man

    The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

    Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

    Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
    London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

    The mother of all goodbyes

    Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
    Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

    Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

    The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions