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RIM dismisses Gulf concessions

by Sarah Griffiths on 4 August 2010, 16:45


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Research in Motion(RIM) has promised  BlackBerry owners it will not share their data after regulators in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) claimed they wrangled with the company about access.

A statement by the firm read: "RIM assures customers that it will not compromise the integrity and security of the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution.''

The UAE and Saudi Arabia have both said they will ban certain BlackBerry functions, citing security concerns as messages are encrypted.  The messenger function on the phone will be banned in Saudi Arabia from this Friday, according to the BBC.

The country's telecoms watchdog has reportedly called on the three operators to ban the function until they "fulfil the regulatory requirements it has requested".

According to The Wall Street Journal, the UAE was pushing for RIM to locate servers in its country where it has the right to look at BlackBerry users' data such as instant messaging and email exchanges.  Instead, RIM reportedly offered access to around 3,000 clients' data instead.

However, RIM said in a statement the location of the servers is almost irrelevant as the data cannot be interpreted without a decryption key and added it would "simply be unable to accommodate any request'' for a key as it does not have one.

The statement said: "BlackBerry security architecture was specifically designed to provide corporate customers with the ability to transmit information wirelessly while also providing them with the necessary confidence that no one, including RIM, could access their data."

"There is only one BlackBerry enterprise solution available to our customers around the world and it remains unchanged in all of the markets we operate in. RIM cooperates with all governments with a consistent standard and the same degree of respect. Any claims that we provide, or have ever provided, something unique to the government of one country that we have not offered to the governments of all countries, are unfounded," the statement added.

There are mounting calls for RIM to open its secure data servers to authorities, as India and Kuwait have also asked for the ability to monitor messages sent from and between BlackBerrys, which they said is strictly for national security. 

HEXUS Forums :: 4 Comments

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Failure to conform to local laws means loss in business. Nice work RIM!
Failure to conform to local laws means loss in business. Nice work RIM!

However, Blackberry remains the only realistic source for secure commercial coms. I think that RIM are being completely reasonable in its policies.
Failure to conform to local laws means loss in business. Nice work RIM!

Failure to conform to users requirements means loss of even more business.
It's quite a good advert for RIM tbh. Look, your data is so secure we've been banned in Saudi Arabia and UAE because they can't crack our encryption.