×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Spyware In BlackBerry Updates For Users in the UAE

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the this-could-happen-in-$yourcountry-too dept.

Privacy 116

mulaz writes with this excerpt from The Register: "An update pushed out to BlackBerry users on the Etisalat network in the United Arab Emirates appears to contain remotely-triggered spyware that allows the interception of messages and emails, as well as crippling battery life. Sent out as a WAP Push message, the update installs a Java file that one curious customer decided to take a closer look at, only to discover an application intended to intercept both email and text messages, sending a copy to an Etisalat server without the user being aware of anything beyond a slightly excessive battery drain."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

116 comments

Panties STINK! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28707749)

Panties Stink!
They really, really stink!
Sometimes they're red, sometimes they're green,
Sometimes they're white or black or pink
Sometimes they're satin, sometimes they're lace
Sometimes they're cotton and soak up stains
But at the end of the day, it really makes you think
Wooooooo-wheeeee! Panties stink!

Sometimes they're on the bathroom floor
Your girlfriend- what a whore!
Sometimes they're warm and wet and raw
From beneath the skirt of your mother-in-law
Brownish stains from daily wear
A gusset full of pubic hair
Just make sure your nose is ready
For the tang of a sweat-soaked wedgie
In your hand a pair of drawers
With a funky feminine discharge
Give your nose a rest, fix yourself a drink
cause wooooooo-wheeeeeee! panties stink!

Steve Jobs is a flamer (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28707843)

Steve Jobs and I are gay lovers (I was the one who gave him HIV). I gotta say he gives good head and has one of the tightest anuses around considering the constant flow of dicks in his ass.

Re:Steve Jobs is a flamer (-1, Troll)

Reasoned Mind (1554009) | more than 4 years ago | (#28707963)

homosex is sinful, you dirty fucking sodomite.

if you love Jobs so much, why don't you give him your liver? he might need it.

Re:Steve Jobs is a flamer (-1, Troll)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28707987)

Jobs already got his live transplant last month after using his money to buy himself to the top of the donor list.

Re:Steve Jobs is a flamer (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28708069)

You say it as if its a bad thing. I, for one, would rather see Jobs get his liver than, say, some old person who worked as a machinist for 30 years, or even worse, an alcoholic native american.

Re:Steve Jobs is a flamer (4, Insightful)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28708115)

You say it as if its a bad thing.

That's because it is.

I, for one, would rather see Jobs get his liver than, say, some old person who worked as a machinist for 30 years, or even worse, an alcoholic native american.

Yeah, because the only choices were either him or the two extreme examples you've given. There are probably plenty of people on the list far more deserving than Jobs who got bumped down because they couldn't afford to buy their way to the top.

Re:Steve Jobs is a flamer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28710411)

There are probably plenty of people on the list far more deserving than Jobs

[citation needed]

Re:Steve Jobs is a flamer (0, Offtopic)

db32 (862117) | more than 4 years ago | (#28711889)

Fine, I suggest we determine who is most deserving by the age old method of "who has earned the ability to do it". Now...inheriting the wealth isn't exactly earning it, but Jobs didn't inherit the wealth he used. So...no problems here right?

So...hop off your high horse for a minute there partner and let us examine what happened. An individual, faced with death, did everything he could to survive. That isn't exactly much different than anyone else. We could even get further into vague metrics like how many people Jobs employed, how many of them received life saving treatments as a result of their pay/medical benefits, etc, etc.

Now...if you have donated organs and have an objection to him being able to get your organ first...get right back up on that high horse, you earned it. However, no organs, no bitching. You aren't the supreme being, you don't get to decide who lives and who dies.

Re:Steve Jobs is a flamer (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 4 years ago | (#28713167)

Fine, I suggest we determine who is most deserving by the age old method of "who has earned the ability to do it". Now...inheriting the wealth isn't exactly earning it, but Jobs didn't inherit the wealth he used. So...no problems here right?

What if I "earned" my money by winning the lottery? Insider trading? Other non-productive financial shenanigans? There are a lot of ways to get rich without providing anything of value, or even by making the world a worse place.

An individual, faced with death, did everything he could to survive. That isn't exactly much different than anyone else.

Yeah, I don't fault Jobs, I fault the system.

Re:Steve Jobs is a flamer (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 4 years ago | (#28716265)

1. Ask Madoff about that. I could only wish that Madoff had jumped to the front of the line to get a life saving treatment so that he could live as much of his 150 year sentence out. So...in these situations, just hope that karma gets them. That failing look to issue 2.

2. Life is unfair. Survival is a game where cheating to win is acceptable. The expectation of an equitable system is nonsense. This is why the whole judgment/afterlife business is so popular regardless of culture/religion. I make no claims to the existence or nonexistence of any judgment/afterlife or what it may be, but given that you really can't do anything about the inherent unfairness in the world the best you can do is try to get a warm fuzzy about thinking the horrible things that await assholes on the other side for being such douches on this side even if it is all just a fantasy.

Re:Steve Jobs is a flamer (1, Offtopic)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#28708095)

-1, Flamebait

While there is a little bit of truth to this (having money and the ability to cross the country at a moment's notice helps your chances), it's mostly false. The organizations that manage organ transplants have some pretty strict standards about that sort of thing and do audits to look for preferential treatment. It basically boils down to "you can't buy your way to the front of the list".

But while you can't get yourself at the front of the list, what you CAN do is get yourself on multiple lists. Transplant lists are managed regionally, and so if you'd be able to make it to, say, Tennessee in time for your transplant (this is where money and a private jet come in handy), then you can go to Tennessee, get evaluated, and get yourself on the list for that region. And that is how you can game the system if you've got money and are Steve Jobs. But you still won't get yourself at the front of that list.

Re:Steve Jobs is a flamer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28708279)

You're replying to a troll who is replying to a troll who is replying to a troll who is replying to the original troll all in order to defend Steve Jobs? Holy shit you Apple fan boys are fucking crazy. And now I'm replying to you. Damn it, now I'm worse than you are!

Re:Steve Jobs is a flamer (0, Offtopic)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#28709167)

Holy shit you Apple fan boys are fucking crazy.

I've been called an MS shill a couple times before, but I think this is the first time I've been called an Apple fanboy... [slashdot.org]

it's a feature (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28707799)

c'mon real time backup, can't beat that.

Slippery Cunts (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28707813)

Mod me down. Now!

Re:Slippery Cunts (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28708649)

Slippery, wet pussies are the best! Now then, where's that little 15 year old girl I saw a co-worker bring into the office today...

It's one from column A OR one from B not both. (1, Insightful)

Magee_MC (960495) | more than 4 years ago | (#28707827)

" as well as crippling battery life." is not the same as "a slightly excessive battery drain."

Re:It's one from column A OR one from B not both. (3, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 4 years ago | (#28707853)

" as well as crippling battery life." is not the same as "a slightly excessive battery drain."

It's slightly crippling?

Re:It's one from column A OR one from B not both. (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#28708213)

You can make the argument, by analogy, that "a slightly excessive gunshot wound to the kneecap" is "crippling."

Nothing to see here. Move along, Slashcitizen.

Re:It's one from column A OR one from B not both. (1)

Burpmaster (598437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28711521)

" as well as crippling battery life." is not the same as "a slightly excessive battery drain."

A little to quick to post something?

Main Entry: cripple [reference.com]
Part of Speech: verb
Definition: hinder action, progress
Synonyms: bring to standstill, cramp, damage, destroy, halt, hamstring, impair, put out of action, ruin, spoil, stifle, vitiate

So, you're saying that extra battery drain doesn't impair battery life?

Re:It's one from column A OR one from B not both. (1)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 4 years ago | (#28715901)

Common usage of crippling implies grave impairment. You don't call a guy with a sore finger crippled, for example. Pretending that using a word is fine just because the dictionary says it means the same thing as another while blatantly ignoring common usage is disingenuous at best.

UAE - no surprise (5, Interesting)

Torontoman (829262) | more than 4 years ago | (#28707889)

As far as non-north-american countries go - the UAE is very progressive. But a former client of mine who spent 8 yrs there working in administration pointed out - "in North America we are an odd country and culture - we simply take it as the norm that nobody will listen to us. That level of privacy is not the norm, it's unusual" He was in a senior healthcare position and essentially knew as a foreigner in a position of influence that he would be monitored regularly if not constantly.

Re:UAE - no surprise (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28707919)

*cough* NSA [pbs.org] *cough*

Re:UAE - no surprise (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 4 years ago | (#28708301)

Ahhh luxury. I remember privacy once... It's been over eight years now but I'm pretty sure I'd like to have some of that again...

Re:UAE - no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28710403)

Privacy? We used to dream of having some privacy. We used to live in one room, so of course we didn't have any privacy!

Re:UAE - no surprise (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28708155)

"As far as non-north-american countries go - the UAE is very progressive"
Hahahahaha, ahem, sorry I mean LOL. Are you serious?
What's so "progressive" about north american countries? Different isn't better per se.
"in North America we are an odd country and culture - we simply take it as the norm that nobody will listen to us"
That's at least a generalisation, and some might say naive.
"a foreigner in a position of influence that he would be monitored regularly if not constantly."
Yes, that would never happen in north America.

Re:UAE - no surprise (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28708495)

"As far as non-north-american countries go - the UAE is very progressive" Hahahahaha, ahem, sorry I mean LOL. Are you serious? What's so "progressive" about north american countries? Different isn't better per se. "in North America we are an odd country and culture - we simply take it as the norm that nobody will listen to us" That's at least a generalisation, and some might say naive. "a foreigner in a position of influence that he would be monitored regularly if not constantly." Yes, that would never happen in north America.

Where shall I start? Women's Rights Minority Rights Freedom of Assembly Voting And this is just for starters. The UAE is very progressive, in comparison to other Middle Eastern countries, but still many decades behind the "decadent" West.

Re:UAE - no surprise (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28708833)

Where shall I start?
The death penalty, no social security, no basic healthcare, the gun and the bible.
And this is just for starters. The USA is very progressive, in comparison to other American countries, but still many decades behind the "decadent" Europeans.

See, there's no truth, only peception.

Re:UAE - no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28709157)

OMG, how many time do we have to save those euros from the Germans and they still trash talk us?
Next they'll insist soccer is a real sport.

Re:UAE - no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28709275)

"The USA is very progressive, in comparison to other American countries."

What? You mean like Canada?

Re:UAE - no surprise (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28709449)

Where shall I start?
The death penalty, no social security, no basic healthcare, the gun and the bible.
And this is just for starters. The USA is very progressive, in comparison to other American countries, but still many decades behind the "decadent" Europeans.

See, there's no truth, only peception.

-Death Penalty: All countries have this, just not for the same crimes. Try committing treason in most places and see what that gets you, and Genocide is punishable by death in pretty much any country that doesn't have general Death Penalty. I'm not saying the US is right, but don't try to pretend your country won't kill someone if they feel they have just cause.

- Social Security: Umm, yes we do have that.

- Healthcare: Again, we do have that, through Medicaid and multiple other programs. We just don't have one consolidated umbrella-type program run by the government.

- The Gun: Yes, every country has them. Some countries like the US seem to think that maybe more than just the political elite, military, and those with money & influence should be able to own them.

- The Bible: Again, every country has one. In many places, like the Middle East, they just use a different one called by a different name.

I can tell by your statements that by "progressive" you really mean "Socialist". The two are not the same.

Australia (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28709703)

Death Penalty, no we dont have it for any crime, this is the touchstone for the difference between civilised countries and others. Only uncivilised countries have the death penalty.

Socail security- You dont have a proper social security system compared with other countries.

Health Care-The US does not have universal health care but spends more than countries that do, quite an achievement.

The Gun- As much a religion to some in the US as the bible, we got rid of most of the guns in our society and we have no regrets.

YAnks just dont know what socialism is do they?

Re:Australia (1)

GumphMaster (772693) | more than 4 years ago | (#28712811)

The Federal act abolishing the death penalty is one of the most accessible pieces of legislation I've had the pleasure to read:

DEATH PENALTY ABOLITION ACT 1973 - SECT 4
Abolition of death penalty
A person is not liable to the punishment of death for any offence.

Re:UAE - no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28712839)

What a BS! Most of the countries DO NOT have death penalty. Just look at the respective Wikipedia page and you will realize that your country is in the top 6 of the countries with the most executions. And you know what the other five countries are? China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iraq. Does that ring a bell?

Re:UAE - no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28714801)

Weird....
I have never heard of any death penalty here in Norway.
We dont even have lifetime prison here and most murderers dont get more than max 25 years in jail.

Re:UAE - no surprise (1, Troll)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 4 years ago | (#28709531)

So you expect the government to provide everything to you?

I always thought if you wanted something you worked towards getting it.
You want good health care, you pay for it.
You want a fancy car, you pay for it.
You want a good retirement, you pay for it.

If you do not cover your own ass, you are stuck. It is hard and cold, but it is reality. Do I expect the government to give me health care, no. The social security check will be less then the stamp it took to get it to me at the rate it is going. I am not counting on that either. Didn't the person who started social security say that this should go away and not be permanent?

Besides if you are expecting a handout, will you work to better yourself? Which is the biggest issue with the government provides all. People get lazy and stop bettering themselves.

Re:UAE - no surprise (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 4 years ago | (#28711739)

So you'd rather spend more money on inferior health care than have the government pay the bill for you (with, ultimately, your money)? We don't have the best health care in the world, we do have the most expensive. Seems like strong evidence that an inefficient government might be worse at bilking you than an extremely efficient for-profit corporation. If you want to pay for your health care out of pocket, that's great, but don't drag those of us without a masochistic streak down with you.

Re:UAE - no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28713301)

If you want to pay for your health care out of pocket, that's great, but don't drag those of us without a masochistic streak down with you.

Does that mean you won't drag those of us that want to pay out-of-pocket with you? (taxes aren't optional you know)

Re:UAE - no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28714253)

Wow.. you don't have a lot of faith in neither people in general, nor governments do you?
Here in Norway we have a pretty decent social welfare and healthcare system. Everything except dental care is covered. If you are sick (disabled in some way so you can't work) or unemployed you get social welfare until you have recovered or found a new job.
And guess what, it gives a sense of security (both economic and well-being) and we are on the top of Europe in having the lowest unemployment rate. Sure, some *don't want* to work, but you can't let a few destroy something good for the many. This is of course paid with tax money, something I guess you'll never understand. It's called solidarity and empathy. The ones who work should pay taxes, so those who are not so fortunate get the help they need, but can't afford. A long time ago, our labour party had a pretty nice slogan. "Gjør din plikt, krev din rett" (Do your duty, demand your rights/benefits). It sums up the idea of our welfare state pretty nicely.
So, my question for you is: What about those who can't afford to pay for healthcare, or are disabled? How do they fit into your equation? Should they just vanquish? "Each to his own" might work in your perfect world, but reality wants it otherwise.
As a person which suffers from PTSD, I find your post highly insulting.

Re:UAE - no surprise (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28714587)

You want good health care, you pay for it.
You want a fancy car, you pay for it.
You want a good retirement, you pay for it.

You want police protection, you pay for it.
You want fire coverage, you pay for it.

Oh wait...

Bullshit (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28709855)

"No basic healthcare"? Sorry, fucktard, anyone who's sick can go to the ER and get treated. There is basic health care. "The gun and the bible". I understand that this whole "freedom of religion" thing pisses you off, as you'd like to force everyone to be an atheist. That's really fucking progressive. Perhaps you forgot the point of the gun. The gun is so that the government doesn't become like the European governments they left 250 years ago. So the government doesn't become like Hitler's Germany or Stalin's Russia. For an acid test, how about you get a Nazi flag, march up and down a sidewalk in the US, and then try the same thing in Germany.

By the way, I know how healthcare works in Europe. "Oh, you have insurance, come ahead now." Maybe Greece and Italy aren't part of Europe, but your universal healthcare seems to be a case of some pigs are more equal.

By the way, retards. I'm in the Emirates right now, and it's the most progressive country I've seen outside of North America, if by progressive you mean "progressing towards human rights." And yes, I've spent quite a while in quite a few european and African countries.

Re:Bullshit (3, Informative)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 4 years ago | (#28709951)

> By the way, I know how healthcare works in Europe.
> "Oh, you have insurance, come ahead now." Maybe
> Greece and Italy aren't part of Europe, but your
> universal healthcare seems to be a case of some
> pigs are more equal.

Eh? Can't comment on anywhere else, but in the UK having insurance makes no difference to your treatment in the NHS. It means you can go to a private provider, but it makes no difference to your NHS provision.

Re:Bullshit (1)

JSlope (1180805) | more than 4 years ago | (#28713955)

I remember a USSR joke from the time of Perestroyka:
An American and a Russian meet and American says:
- What about your freedoms, I for example can go in front of the White House and cry that American President is an idiot.
Russian answers:
- I also can go to the Red Square and cry that... American President is an idiot.

Re:UAE - no surprise (5, Informative)

julian67 (1022593) | more than 4 years ago | (#28708687)

Yes it's so progressive that every new car comes with a tracking device built in so the govt always knows where you're driving. It also knows when you go to fast. They have this amzing system whereby if you drive over the speed limit a siren sounds in your car and gets louder and louder until you slow down to within the limit. Driving around Dubai you'll be passed by speeding cars with a terrible wailing siren sounding out over the terrible bass heavy music. These drivers are Emiratis, locals (70% of the population is foreign workers). They won't have to pay the fine so as long as they can stand the noise they'll drive as fast as they like. It's a bizarre phenomenon. It's absolutely no surprise that the state monopoly telco would also like access to all your communications whatever device you use. Skype is banned, and tor is blocked and using any privacy enhancing encryption leads not to the unfettered web but to the court house. Also progressive: jail time for sex outside of marriage, deportation with no notice if your boss withdraws your work permit and so on. I guess it looks progressive next to Saudi, but mostly it isn't progressive, only rich.

Re:UAE - no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28709651)

While you are right on the repression of homosexuality (arbitrary because homosexual of the whole GCC come to Dubai to party quit openly), on the Internet access filtering (everybody knows where to buy "out of UAE" VPN services), and the ban on Skype, you are totally wrong on the car story. The only signalisation I have noticed in cars is a beep or a light when you pass 120km/h that do not last and is not loud.
I have been living in UAE for the last year, the driving is hellish (for various reasons), and Emirati and expats alike drive like crazy.
But there is no siren going on when you pass speed limit and, as far as I know, no tracking devices in your car(totally unecessary since cameras are everywhere and everybody carries, at least, a GSM). There are good old radars on the road side (set 20km/h above the official speed limit) and camera (probably with plate reading software all around the cities). It is not unusual to go and negociate fines in bulk every two monthes wether you are emirati or not.

It is a common assumption that "persons of interrest" are listened and followed in their daily life and this includes most foreiner having a position of responsability.

Application of law is pretty arbitrary and varies from emirate to emirate.
Anyway UAE are considered in the Gulf as pretty liberal, mostly not because of their laws (not very different from their neighbours), but more for the way they are applied.

It is to be added that it is a very young country/federation (36 years old), which is constently changing. Hard to say in which direction it will have evolved in ten years.

Yes law is pretty retrograde

Re:UAE - no surprise (3, Informative)

julian67 (1022593) | more than 4 years ago | (#28709961)

If you have a new car (purchased in the last 2 years) it has a tracker in the license plate. I know this is true in Dubai, it may be different in other emirates. You will get in some deep trouble if the license plates are not affixed properly or appear to have been tampered with. You can see traffic accidents where the cops arrive, check the license plates are affixed and in order (on the right vehicle) and then their work is done and they leave. Same for the speed siren (maybe siren isn't the best term but when it's going at full volume it's impressive...can be heard very loudly from inside other cars...all mobile with windows up and aircon on)....it starts of as a gentle reminder and gets louder and louder and louder....

I hadn't mentioned homosexuality and I don't equate sex outside of marriage with homosexuality (necessarily).

Adultery = prison in UAE.

Dubai is liberal only compared to states where full sharia law is practised. If you're a foreigner or a local who dresses western style yes you can drink alcohol and if you're on a tourist visa you can share a hotel room with your partner without being married. If you're local or have a resident visa then you had better be very careful about your private life and keep it extremely private, even secret if you sleep with anyone other than your spouse. You'll notice that nobody in local dress is ever seen drinking alcohol. They won't be served and may have a lot of explaining to do. Similarly at the duty free shops and on UAE airlines an Arab won't get a drink unless in western clothes. It's a distinctly odd place where appearance is everything. You can *kind of* do as you please as long as you're furtive and don't embarrass anyone or do anything unconventional publicly. This 'freedom' doesn't extend to expressing yourself freely or to accessing uncensored tv, radio, or internet.

Re:UAE - no surprise (3, Interesting)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 4 years ago | (#28710199)

Why would any normal western person subject themselves to such de-humanizing rules? You couldnt pay me to go to UAE. Its not that im a trouble-maker or rabble-rouser, but it seems that in those types of countries very small missteps can land you in a whole heap of trouble. Its fine if they want to run their sovereign nation like that, I jsut dont ever plan on subjecting myself to their rules.

Re:UAE - no surprise (2, Informative)

julian67 (1022593) | more than 4 years ago | (#28710431)

Why do foreigners live there? Generous salaries and no tax. I'm not sure many people want to set up home permanently but if you can work there for a higher salary than at home, pay no tax, get generous benefits (health, a house etc) then in 5 or 10 years you can have saved a really big pile. For workers from India, Pakistan, Philipines etc there aren't the generous benefits and nice accommodation but they can make a lot more than at home especially if they are skilled. They can go home at the end of their contract and buy a home or set up a business, pay off their family's debts etc. For them it beats a life of guaranteed breadline existence.

Re:UAE - no surprise (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 4 years ago | (#28711847)

Bear in mind that a lot of the lower income South Asian workers are systematically defrauded by by the Emiratis. They are often promised much higher pay than they receive, their passports are stolen by their employers to prevent them leaving, and they work under terrible conditions.

A good many would never have gone their if they knew how it would work out.

Re:UAE - no surprise (1)

julian67 (1022593) | more than 4 years ago | (#28712013)

This happens but I've also met people in India who came back with good amounts saved. I met a tractor parts supplier who set up his business from the money he made in UAE (construction) and a man running a trucking company (had worked a long time as a driver in UAE), same story, so it can't be happening to everyone. One unfortunate social phenomenon is Indian workers coming home from the middle east with more money than would ever have been possible if they had stayed at home, and then deciding they now make a much better marriage prospect, even if already married....the current wife is abandoned.

Re:UAE - no surprise (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 4 years ago | (#28709821)

A cousin of mine lived there in the early 90s. He said that the speeding buzzer was there to remind the locals to turn up the radio ;)

Re:UAE - no surprise (2, Interesting)

the 9a3eedi (1068628) | more than 4 years ago | (#28710913)

I dunno, some parts of your comments seem rather exaggerated. First off, Emaratis HAVE to pay speeding fines. I know that because I'm an Emarati myself. And no, we dont get some special discount. We might be able to get away with it because we know where all the traffic radars are and so we slow down just in time :P There isn't any "siren" implanted in our cars. It's just the standard "bell" that comes out from the car when you go above 120km/h . I really don't think it's due to a government regulation, but it's probably dependant on the car itself. Our family bought a Pajero last, and whenever I speed, I do get a rather annoying continous beep from it, but it's not that loud. The sound can be drowned with music played in a reasonable volume. Also, that claim that using privacy enhancing encryption can lead you to the courthouse sounds farfetched to me. I've been using privacy enhancing applications in the UAE the entire time, and I'm fine. Also, tor works. I tried. If it would really eventually make me end up in the courthouse, give me evidence. As an Emarati, I admit that my country has some problems, but there is no need to exaggerate things and tell lies which would unnecessarily damage the reputation of the country.

Re:UAE - no surprise (1)

imtheguru (625011) | more than 4 years ago | (#28711007)

we know where all the traffic radars are and so we slow down just in time

Do not try this in your Pajero: Over 250kmph, the cameras usually don't register a passing vehicle.

It's just the standard "bell" that comes out from the car when you go above 120km/h . I really don't think it's due to a government regulation, but it's probably dependant on the car itself.

It is not from the car manufacturer.

Re:UAE - no surprise (1)

ryzvonusef (1151717) | more than 4 years ago | (#28713413)

It isn't?
My father once imported a car from Japan (a Nissan '87), and it had a (rather cute) chime that went off after 100km/h. Later on, we had a Toyota, and that too had a chime (that one sounded horrendous), which off after 120km/h. I have noticed that chime in other Japanese model too.
I think it comes standard with all Japanese cars, atleast.

Re:UAE - no surprise (1)

julian67 (1022593) | more than 4 years ago | (#28711099)

Sometimes tor works, sometimes not. Sometimes p2p networks are acessible, sometimes not. Why is Skype and other internet telephony forbidden? It gives users access to encrypted communication and threatens Etisilat's monopolistic pricing. Why does the Blackberry get a UAE specific update? To disallow encrypted communication. I can't work out why flickr is blocked ....

Re:UAE - no surprise (2, Interesting)

the 9a3eedi (1068628) | more than 4 years ago | (#28711189)

P2P networks like Bittorrent and Gnutella always work with me. Never had any problems with it. And if tor doesn't work, I really think it's tor's fault, and not the ISP. Tor is encrypted, isn't it impossible for the ISP to "block" it?

Apparently, VoIP services aren't completely blocked. It's just the ones that allow you to do cheap PC-to-Phone calls that are blocked, as it would kindof interfere with Etisalat's revenue. However, things like SIP and Google Talk, where it's just PC-to-PC works perfectly fine.

Flickr is blocked because Etisalat blocks "dating sites". That's the official reason. Yes, I know, flickr is not a "dating site" :P . It's a shame that it got blocked for something silly like that.

In general, Etisalat's Internet service is pretty horrible compared to other countries. It's a well known fact. Sucks, but the people there generally just accept it and try to find workarounds (and doing that doesn't get them into trouble).

Re:UAE - no surprise (1)

julian67 (1022593) | more than 4 years ago | (#28711329)

tor can be blocked if you can stop the initial connection to a tor node or can block tor's directory servers. This is something like playing whack-a-mole but it can be done and was in the past. I haven't been in UAE for a couple of years so perhaps they got bored of chasing their own tails. The other approach for a govt to take is to run tor exit nodes themselves and capture the traffic as it exits unencrypted, which doesn't give you both sides of an exchange but does give you a nice starting point for identifying interesting people. That's what a well resourced govt would do and the UAE is certainly not short of resources.

Google Talk isn't encrypted by default, the end user has to take care of this themselves. It will be interesting to see how censoring governments respond when Google releases Google Talk with encrypted calls and messaging.

Re:UAE - no surprise (1)

Johnno74 (252399) | more than 4 years ago | (#28712063)

You sure that this "siren" is infact caused by speeding?

I was in egypt a few years ago, and all the taxi drivers and most of the locals had installed a "manual override" switch on their dash for the car alarm. Basically they would flick the switch so the alarm would start howling, then they would drive like complete nutbars. Stuck behind a truck? Simple, your driver would flick the switch, honk their horn and flash their lights as quickly as possible and just pull out into oncoming traffic.

As far as I could gather, the road rules there were give way to the cars with louder alarms and horns, and ones where the driver was flashing their lights faster.

Truly, truly terrifying, I tell you.

Re:UAE - no surprise (1)

julian67 (1022593) | more than 4 years ago | (#28712219)

Yes am sure :-) It's there to make your brain scream when you drive too fast. I was fairly amazed by it....had just arrived, my partner was living there and picked me up from the airport when this big SUV came screaming past with music *blasting* and an amazing and very non-musical noise accompanied it. She explained what it was, I didn't believe her so she put her foot down and gave me a demo. I'd been living in Bangkok before so for a noise to surprise me it really had to have an impact. Like someone else said, the locals seem to view it as a hint to turn the music up even louder (if possible).....funny place....drive like total psychopaths, get impatient and angry, honk the horn way too much, but if they see a woman waiting to cross the road they are courteous and slow down and let her cross (and not just the pretty ones). Personally I think everyone needs to relax and have a beer....

Re:UAE - no surprise (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 4 years ago | (#28711527)

As far as non-north-american countries go - the UAE is very progressive.

[Citation needed]

The reason I'm asking is because I've known several people who've worked in embassies over there, and this is not what they've told me about it.

Re:UAE - no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28712393)

my money is on the US government paying the provider to scan the email so they can find out where all the nasties are.

Get a cheque right from the C.I.A. Sweet!

Re:UAE - no surprise (1)

pirhana (577758) | more than 4 years ago | (#28713023)

> As far as non-north-american countries go - the UAE is very progressive

Could you please tell me what do you mean by "Progressive" ? . Coz, I have been living in many countries of Middle East for years and this includes UAE also and they all are same more or less. Like other countries, UAE has the following,

-- Family dictatorships which have absolute control about every element of the society and economy.
-- No Democracy in any tangible meaning of that term
-- Absolutely no freedom of expression(UAE does not even allow the media to give true reports about the recession which has affected the country more than any other country in the world !)
-- Worst rules and laws which are inhumane to say the least.

Now unlike other countries in the region, UAE has the following,

-- Easier access to prostitution & alcohol

Is this one point is what you mean by being "Progressive" ? If something else, please let me know as I have not experienced anything else in my stay here. I do admit that specifically in the case of Saudi, things are even worse as women are not allowed to have their choice of dress or job. If there is any country in the region which has some elements of "progressiveness", its Iran whom we all love to bash.

Forgetting something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28713371)

There is one non-Islamic country in the Middle East [wikipedia.org] . It kind of breaks your interesting list of general features, which only seems to have included Islamic Middle Eastern countries.

And actually, the Palestinian Authority [wikipedia.org] doesn't seem to fit into your general classification, either.

Re:UAE - no surprise (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 4 years ago | (#28713141)

As far as non-north-american countries go - the UAE is very progressive.

A statement that could only come from someone with basically no international experience or knowledge. UAE is as progressive as the Salem Witch Trials. The only reason people even notice it is because it's more progressive than neighbours like Saudi Arabia, which are among the most oppressive/regressive/big-messive in the world. This has allowed the Emirates to emerge as a more comfortable destination for regional oil money.

Further hint: North America, on a population basis (i.e., mostly USA) is not very progressive in the first place.

Re:UAE - no surprise (1)

james.m.henderson (1491189) | more than 4 years ago | (#28715599)

Yes, UAE is very [independent.co.uk] progressive. Anybody who chooses to expatriate and live in such a slave-state really can't complain if things go against them after a time. I would never trust a contract to work in Dubai, not only because it would violate my own moral code, but because anybody who chooses to live there is probably not someone I should trust.

How slightly? (4, Informative)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#28707891)

slightly excessive battery drain

As a crackberry user myself, I can tell you that sometimes a change in battery life isn't even something I would worry much about. Considering the number of applications that many of us have on our 'berries, the number we have in the background at any given time, and the amount we use the applications in the foreground, a noticeable shift in battery life between Tuesday and Wednesday might not be considered abnormal. I know there are people who just charge every night religiously because they always want to start with a full battery in the morning; if they ended at 45% instead of 55% they might not think anything of it as long as their charge made it to the end of the day.

On the other hand if they normally end at 45% and now they don't make it through the day, they would likely notice that.

Re:How slightly? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#28708147)

Also, I doubt that anyone would think it was software, most people would shrug and think that their battery was wearing out and get a new battery or BlackBerry.

Re:How slightly? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#28708577)

I know if I leave google maps on in the background on my blackberry, the batter life is pretty much cut in half. I notice that pretty quickly.

Re:How slightly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28713099)

Etisalat claimed a 'slight' issue, I beg to differ... On a day off at home (little or no usage) my Bold went from fully charged overnight to "low battery" in 3-4 hours. Normally I get about 14-16 hours with a normal day's usage. Also, the battery heated up quite noticeably and it wasn't until I disabled the rogue app that things went back to normal.

There were reports of people buying new batteries, and even a few with more money than brains bought replacement handhelds!

good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28707929)

my guess is the UAE wanted to come inline with U.S. American standards of communications.

Why would they need this? (1)

JobyOne (1578377) | more than 4 years ago | (#28708103)

Why would the carrier need to route messages and data coming through their systems *back* to their systems to read them? They are, after all, the carrier of all this data in the first place. Why can't they just sniff around in it in the middle?

Something smells fishy.

Re:Why would they need this? (3, Informative)

guruevi (827432) | more than 4 years ago | (#28708133)

Supposedly, e-mail between the company's server and the device is encrypted (although at one time, there were some protests to using Blackberries because the messages pass through RIM's servers which were located somewhere in Canada - I don't know if that's still the case).

Re:Why would they need this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28708989)

If you install a keylogger, no matter how much encryption you have, you've got a backchannel leaking your information.

It's the same thing here.

Re:Why would they need this? (4, Informative)

cvolny (1583581) | more than 4 years ago | (#28708177)

From the Register: "While text messages and phone calls are usually more easily intercepted at the network operator, the BlackBerry architecture doesn't lend itself to that kind of legally-authorised interception, which has caused problems in several other countries. It seems probable that this application was an attempt by the authorities to circumvent that architecture, and it will be interesting to see if a similar application appears on competing UEA operators."

Re:Why would they need this? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28708179)

Something smells fishy.

Maybe it's this guy's [slashdot.org] panties.

Nice, I'm paying to be spied upon! (1)

Pepebuho (167300) | more than 4 years ago | (#28708105)

So I am paying for my bandwidth twice, first to receive the message and a second time for it to be forwarded to TPTB. Talk about being fsckd!

Are you an ATT or Verizon customer in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28708305)

If so, then you're already paying to be spied on to the government anyway.

More information (5, Interesting)

mothrsuperior (981616) | more than 4 years ago | (#28708141)

the register has a followup (including some code) here [theregister.co.uk] .
  Apparently [etisalat.ae] etisalat claims the spyware is for troubleshooting during the 2g to 3g upgrade.

Re:More information (3, Insightful)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 4 years ago | (#28708373)

Haha, of course! Troubleshooting network issues is so much simpler when you're using twice the bandwidth as you were before just so that you can send yourself a copy of everything being sent.

Re:More information (1)

Ozlanthos (1172125) | more than 4 years ago | (#28710455)

Heaven forbid they admit it to be what it really is: a state-mandated political/commercial/private spyware app. I am sure it references which cell towers are closest to you so that they can use it to track your physical movements too. I love it, just like the way we pay people to spy on/arrest us for not using the "right" drugs, they pay their government to track their every move. Ironic as all hell. I think we need to plan and execute "a cell-phone day of silence". An entire day when we remove the batteries from our mobile phones, in protest of all of the ways they have been inappropriately used to spy on and track people!

-Oz

Removal utility link deleted (2, Interesting)

dougsyo (84601) | more than 4 years ago | (#28708185)

The Register article stated:

No one from Etisalat, RIM, or SS8 is saying anything about the issue, despite the fact that the application appears remarkably difficult to remove. Enterprising hackers, though, have discovered it can be done, with one providing a useful utility (seventh message down) to automate the process.

It pointed to this link: http://supportforums.blackberry.com/rim/board/message?board.id=BlackBerryDeviceSoftware&thread.id=5504&view=by_date_ascending&page=2 [blackberry.com]

But if you follow it you get:

The message you are trying to access has been deleted. Please update your bookmarks.

Interesting.

Doug

Re:Removal utility link deleted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28708787)

The proper thread is http://supportforums.blackberry.com/rim/board/message?board.id=BlackBerryDeviceSoftware&thread.id=5632&view=by_date_ascending&page=1

Was RIM complicit in the spyware distro? (1)

cutecub (136606) | more than 4 years ago | (#28708229)

I'm not very familiar with RIM's network architecture, so it wasn't clear to me whether the UAE needed RIM's help in distributing the spyware or whether it was entirely the doing of the local phone carrier in the UAE.

Would the UAE had to have had RIM's help or did they simply buy the services of the third-party spyware vendor?

-Sean

Re:Was RIM complicit in the spyware distro? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28708911)

It was sent as a WAP push (a bit like sending something to a PC as an email attachment and saying "please run me"). They wouldn't have needed RIM's help to do it (although assistance from someone who (a) had a clue and (b) was evil would have helped them achieve their goal with less comical results). RIM are unlikely to have wanted to assist because it's not exactly a "good news" story for them.

Carriers do have a level of control over what a Blackberry based on their network can do by controlling what "service books" are sent to a device but software distributions tend not to vary.

Re:Was RIM complicit in the spyware distro? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28712199)

I'm not very familiar with RIM's network architecture, so it wasn't clear to me whether the UAE needed RIM's help in distributing the spyware or whether it was entirely the doing of the local phone carrier in the UAE.

They didn't need RIM's help. Unlike many cell phone vendors, RIM publishes lots of documentation, APIs, and even gives away free emulators to make it easier for developers.

There's a company in Thailand that sells similar spyware software for blackberries, but they market it to jealous spouses and suspicious parents.

Did it install on all Blackberry's connected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28708715)

I am assuming it only installed on Blackberry's that were customers of Etisalat's network - or if I was traveling there at the time of the push, would it have installed on my blackberry as well?

Re:Did it install on all Blackberry's connected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28708895)

it would install on all connected. it was a push update sent out with a java payload (Registry.jar).

Re:Did it install on all Blackberry's connected (3, Interesting)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 4 years ago | (#28709475)

SS8 says their software is used by "some of the largest service providers in the world," so it may have been more surreptitiously pushed in phases by your own provider already.

Bum, bum, buuuuummmm.

Re:Did it install on all Blackberry's connected (2, Informative)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 4 years ago | (#28710221)

A good general rule of thumb is, If you dont want to be tracked or monitored, dony carry a cell phone, because at some point or another they ALL have ways of tracking you.

Encrypted emails between blackberries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28709483)

I thought the messages between blackberries were encrypted. How is a man in the middle attack even possible?

rose@askauntrose.com

cryptwitter - is there an app for that? (1)

bukuman (1129741) | more than 4 years ago | (#28711919)

Maybe they/we need a crypto-twitter app?

  • Make minimal assumptions of the phone capabilities.
  • Don't rely on 'external' certificate / cert providers etc, roll your own.
  • Don't rely on the device libraries, you cannot afford to trust even the phone.
  • Phone app to include some kind of cert to authenticate itself to the service (at least make an effort).
  • ssl based coms
  • http or sms transport
  • some kind of distributed multiple redundant backend; tor-ish and resistant to dns spoofing
  • certificate based authentication of the servers to the client
  • structure social network/email/bbs style systems over that underlying safe communication channel.
  • Ensure the system and legals are structured so that breaking into it to read the clear text comes under DMCA 'circumvention of technical measures to control access to copyright material' - about the most draconian laws there are.

Does something like this exist?

Thread deleted on BlackBerry support forums (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28712225)

The article mentioned in the original post linked to a BlackBerry support forums post explaining the spyware and how to remove it.

Post was quickly deleted by forum admins.

Copy mostly still available through Google cache, and has been reposted. Let's see how long it stays up.

I am ashamed.......... (1)

mooderdxb (1545863) | more than 4 years ago | (#28713155)

I can't believe my country would try something like this. For the love of god we are not Homeland or the FBI or even the CIA!!! My ISP have made a name for them self's as the biggest idiots I have ever known. I hope this will tech them a lesson."Performance enhancement patch"
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...