All United Arab Emirates BlackBerry users today received this message:
Dear Valued Customer,
The UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has decided to suspend BlackBerry services from Oct 11, 2010. In accordance with this decision Etisalat will soon announce alternative mobility products and services.
Please visit www.etisalat.ae/blackberry for further information and updates
After UAE telecoms company Etisalat sent out their data snatching “virus” about a year ago – the UAE telecoms authority have been negotiation with RIM to open up for “data sharing” of UAE users BlackBerry data transfers (Messages, Mail, Web usage etc) – it seems like the negotiations has come to an abrupt halt.
To cite the TRA (The UAE Telecoms Regulatory Authority) – “In the current form certain BlackBerry services allow users to act without any accountability, causing judicial, social and national security concerns in the UAE”
In plain terms it means “We want to snoop on your messages and data transfers without a court order – and if we can’t we will just block the services”
I see this of course as a attempt to force RIM/BlackBerry back to the negotiations table. But if it will work is uncertain.
So will the UAE really block all BlackBerry services as of October 11 2010? I don’t think so. Every single statesman and woman from Sheik to Sheika are BlackBerry users. Most of the Government owned investment companies (Sovereign Wealth Funds) – uses BlackBerry.