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BlackBerry Services To Be Halted In UAE

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the blocking-the-tip-of-an-iceberg dept.

Cellphones 134

WrongSizeGlass writes "Bloomberg is reporting RIM's BlackBerry Messenger, e-mail and Web browsing services will be suspended in the United Arab Emirates, the Middle East's business hub, starting October 11th due to security concerns. RIM faces similar restrictions in India. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority said in a statement on state-run Emirates News Agency, 'In their current form, certain BlackBerry services allow users to act without any legal accountability, causing judicial, social and national security concerns for the UAE.' A senior Indian government official said, 'Though RIM has been fully cooperating ever since the matter was taken up with it in 2008, reports of the company's move to set up a server in China forced us to look at it in a different way.'"

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The UAE is partially correct. (4, Insightful)

sethstorm (512897) | about 4 years ago | (#33100752)

The UAE's telecoms regulator said the move had 'nothing to do with censorship' ...except where the monitoring leads to censorship. That is, you can say all you want on the phone, but the censorship would be done off the network.

Sounds like they're bitter about being caught with their hands in the cookie jar with the Etisalat attempt.

Re:The UAE is partially correct. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33100832)

A friend in need is a friend indeed
A friend with weed is better
A friend with breasts and all the rest
A friend who's dressed in leather

Re:The UAE is partially correct. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33100964)

Best. Song. Ever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4JhtoR39M0 [youtube.com]

Re:The UAE is partially correct. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33101074)

Separating. Every. Word. With. Periods. Is. Gayer. Than. AIDS.

Re:The UAE is partially correct. (0, Offtopic)

chissg (948332) | about 4 years ago | (#33101156)

The 1980s called: they want their factually incorrect viciously homophobic epithet back. Please, let them have it.

I'm confused (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33102628)

He didn't say how gay AIDS is, just that separating every word with periods is gayer. If you think AIDS isn't gay at all, I'd expect you to agree. Instead you assert his exclamation is factually incorrect, which would mean you think AIDS is gayer than separating words with periods. I personally find them both similarly gay, which is not at all. Would you, to end my confusion, please clarify your individual assessment of their relative gayety?

Re:The UAE is partially correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33101284)

Separating. Every. Word. With. Periods. Is. Gayer. Than. AIDS.

Thank you for your valuable feedback. However, it needs to be filed correctly so we can get to fixing the problem. Please print it out, fold it up, and then shove it straight up your ass. Thank you for your cooperation.

Re:The UAE is partially correct. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33100996)

Having hung out too much with the 3rd line, I'd gladly just stop at line 2 and say fuck the rest.

Re:The UAE is partially correct. (5, Informative)

h4rm0ny (722443) | about 4 years ago | (#33100850)


Everything in UAE is either to do with censorship, or to do with money. Or both. I submitted this story myself earlier. Note that there's also coverage on this from the BBC here [bbc.co.uk] . Note that the TRA (the UAE's telecom regulatory agency) last year sent messages to Blackberry owners in the country instructing them to install an update which would improve performance. Not only did it not improve performance (actually caused crashes and shortened battery life for a reason you'll see in a second), but it actually forwarded received messages onto the goverment. Slashdot covered it last year here [slashdot.org] .
They're a scummy government. Blackberries are fairly popular in UAE (the lack of snooping is actually a plus, btw) and by threatening to make them illegal the government there is trying to force RIM who make them to hand over encryption keys or open up access to its customers in some other manner. If RIM have any sense, and I'm sure they have, they'll call TRA's bluff.

UAE's government ain't that nice and the country is riddled with corruption and duplicity. Hell, this is the country where all the shops sell MP5 players. Why? Because they're newer than MP3 players. I try to find that funny but after a ten minute argument with someone from there who kept insisting his device was superior because "yeah, but mine's an MP5 player", I just lost the humour along the way, somewhere. UAE also does its best to fuck up Skype and any other VoIP services. (They don't do a very effective job, btw.)

Re:The UAE is partially correct. (4, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | about 4 years ago | (#33100858)

So take a marker and convert the '3' in your mp3 player to an '8'. Certainly an mp8 player's got to be WAY better than an \mp5\ player.

Re:The UAE is partially correct. (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | about 4 years ago | (#33100952)


LOL! I wish that I had thought of it. Would have made the point more effectively than my trying to explain file formats to them.

Re:The UAE is partially correct. (1)

stonewallred (1465497) | about 4 years ago | (#33101068)

Was going to mod an idiot down the thread a little bit, but your MP% comment caught my eye, and five minutes on google assures me, that you were 100% correct. MP5 is BS. Hell I bought a damn video/music player at CVS a couple of years ago for 20 bucks that would do what these MP% players will do. Of course it only had a 2.6" screen, but it would hold 8GB, and play anything I loaded on it, including realmedia files with no conversions necessary. Don't think it did flv files though, but I lost it and can not check.

Re:The UAE is partially correct. (2, Insightful)

countertrolling (1585477) | about 4 years ago | (#33101138)

They're a scummy government.

But they're an "ally", economic, military, and otherwise.. They are a safe haven for blood money, lots of it. So they can be as scummy as they want.. That's what predatory capitalism is all about.. And the only people who get in trouble are those who try to point that out. That aspect seems to be getting more prevalent these days, as illustrated by the wikileaks thing.

Re:The UAE is partially correct. (2, Interesting)

couchslug (175151) | about 4 years ago | (#33102306)

NON-scummy governments in most of the world are simply not an option. Making them less scummy is like teaching a pig to sing, in that it doesn't work and annoys the pig.

"That's what predatory capitalism is all about.."

That's what DIPLOMACY has ALWAYS been about, long before Capitalism existed. There are no good people, hence no need to act as if there are. There are only interests, and clients.

In the Middle East in particular, the binary client choice is between greedy tribalists and homicidal Jihadists. Those are the locals, who govern with the assent of most other locals. They aren't nice to their opposition, nor would their opponents be nice to them if roles were switched.

Re:The UAE is partially correct. (2, Interesting)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | about 4 years ago | (#33101228)

while I will grant you that the government has its issues - I will say that the UAE does take security pretty serious and is probably one of the safest Middle Eastern (maybe the safest) countries for westerners. Part of the security is no doubt due to the intense control and monitoring of its citizens and visitors. I won't make a call whether its good or bad just an observation from someone who has spent a few months there.

Re:The UAE is partially correct. (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about 4 years ago | (#33101634)

while I will grant you that the government has its issues - I will say that the UAE does take security pretty serious and is probably one of the safest Middle Eastern (maybe the safest) countries for westerners. Part of the security is no doubt due to the intense control and monitoring of its citizens and visitors. I won't make a call whether its good or bad just an observation from someone who has spent a few months there.

Is it safe for women subjected to honor killings?
Draconian methods are always correct for the draconian mindset.

Re:The UAE is partially correct. (3, Informative)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | about 4 years ago | (#33101734)

while I don't personally know that this goes on the UAE (probably) I do know that they are a pretty lenient Middle Eastern society - I have seen plenty of women in thongs on the beaches and plenty of local women in the malls dressed in standard western style (mini skirts, high heals, etc..), I've also seen groups of women with some in skirts and some fully covered in traditional fashion. You will never see that kind of stuff in Saudi or Jordan etc..

Re:The UAE is partially correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33102398)

I wouldn't argue with someone who has a MP5.

Re:The UAE is partially correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33102586)

I wouldn't argue with someone who has a MP5.

The MP5 is SO last century. These days it's all about the MP7.

Re:The UAE is partially correct. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33102630)

UAE is actually one of the more liberal countries in the Middle East. For example, women are not required to wear a veil in public, only a shawl. Shoplifters no longer get their hands cut off. And astonishingly, there are even some gay places in Dubai if you are so inclined. For example, the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza gym. As always though in the Middle East, be careful - and be discreet!

Re:The UAE is partially correct. (1)

Paracelcus (151056) | about 4 years ago | (#33102418)

"The UAE's telecoms regulator said the move had 'nothing to do with censorship'"

The "censorship" happens when pursuant to local custom, they saw off your head with a dull knife!

For those of you who don't speak bullshit (4, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 4 years ago | (#33100754)

'In their current form, certain BlackBerry services allow users to act without any legal accountability, causing judicial, social and national security concerns for the UAE.'

This roughly translates to this.

The BlackBerry lets you have the possibility of expressing nonofficial opinions regarding the government/state/religion and our secret police force may not be able to find you and break your fucking shins and toss you in a dungeon until you realize the error of your ways and die.

Re:For those of you who don't speak bullshit (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about 4 years ago | (#33100838)

Amazing how an entire society seemingly hangs by the flimsy thread of a rogue blackberry user...

Ban these dangerous devices like nuclear and biological weapons, for they will be the fall of society!

Re:For those of you who don't speak bullshit (5, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | about 4 years ago | (#33100906)

Amazing how an entire society seemingly hangs by the flimsy thread of a rogue blackberry user... Ban these dangerous devices like nuclear and biological weapons, for they will be the fall of society!

Weapons are a threat to people. Information is a threat to governments.

Re:For those of you who don't speak bullshit (1)

dclozier (1002772) | about 4 years ago | (#33101078)

I wish I had some mod points - very insightful.

Re:For those of you who don't speak bullshit (3, Informative)

CdBee (742846) | about 4 years ago | (#33101202)

It actually shows some credit to RIM that they are willing to lose customers rather than submit to the 'national security concerns' of a nation that in many ways has a long way to go, developmentally.

Money making opportunity! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33100760)

I'm going to go write an Oil Billionaire App for the iPhone and Android.

"Security Concerns" (5, Interesting)

Nimloth (704789) | about 4 years ago | (#33100762)

I read this and thought: "really? security concerns over the BlackBerry network?". Then I figured out that the "security concerns" were that it is too secure for them because they like to reserve the right to eaves drop and lay the smackdown when they feel appropriate.

Re:"Security Concerns" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33101994)

I read this and thought: "really? security concerns over the BlackBerry network?". Then I figured out that the "security concerns" were that it is too secure for them because they like to reserve the right to eaves drop and lay the smackdown when they feel appropriate.

Of course, they the government of the UAE doesn't need this capability. You have no rights in the UAE (unless you're part of the royal family kleptocracy).

The government can throw you in jail for any reason, and torture you for any reason. Think about that before you visit.

There are some gruesome videos of one of the princes torturing some poor schlub [msn.com] .

http://www.uaetorture.com/ [uaetorture.com]

What are they afraid of? (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | about 4 years ago | (#33100794)

What are they afraid of, some guy might exchange Blackberry PINs with an unmarried woman?

Re:What are they afraid of? (5, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 4 years ago | (#33100808)

What are they afraid of, some guy might exchange Blackberry PINs with an unmarried woman?

Prince warns S. Arabia of apocalypse [aljazeera.com]

'He warned that the Saudi royal family is no longer able to "impose" itself on people, arguing that deviations in carrying out the religious concepts that make up the basis of the Saudi government "have gotten out of our hands," so that the opposition views our acts as "interfering in people's private life and restricting their liberties."

"If we are wise, we must leave this country to its people, whose dislike for us is increasing," said Prince Turki, advising Saudi officials to escape with their families.'

Re:What are they afraid of? (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 4 years ago | (#33100834)

Sounds like wishful thinking on his part. Note how long his movement has been at it.

Not that seeing the House of Saud strung up like Mussolini and his mistress wouldn't make me smile, double-dealing funders of Jihad and enemies of Israel that they are.

Re:What are they afraid of? (3, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | about 4 years ago | (#33100872)

and enemies of Israel that they are.

Heh. I like that the House of Saud are such pieces of shit that even pro- and anti- Israel types can agree on their utter contempt for the corrupt oppressive bastards. :)

It's amazing that the people of the US allow their government to keep propping it up. Without the US support, they'd have been overthrown by their people long ago. It's a fucking monarchy in the 21st Century. We should be ashamed as a species.

Re:What are they afraid of? (4, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | about 4 years ago | (#33101126)

Maybe the people would form a stable government, and I quite agree that they should be given the best opportunity to do so. There's no reason, though, to believe that US support is the only thing keeping most of the country in the dark ages. There are plenty of African countries that are at least as fucked up as Saudi Arabia without US sponsorship.

Re:What are they afraid of? (2, Interesting)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 4 years ago | (#33101402)

Yeah, but those countries don't have the affluence of Saudi Arabia.

No, SA is, I think, better compared to Iran: a nation with a relatively affluent population that's under the thumb of oppression, both political and religious. And much like Iran, I'm willing to bet, in the absence of said oppression, they could flourish as a modern nation.

Re:What are they afraid of? (1)

Teun (17872) | about 4 years ago | (#33102674)

And much like Iran, I'm willing to bet, in the absence of said oppression, they could flourish as a modern nation.

Knowing the place first hand I believe the country would without a very strong government turn within a very short period of time into a raging mess of feuding tribes and religious extremists, just one example; the oil rich east is populated by Shia Muslims that hate the Sunni Bedouins forming the Royal family and army.

And that's really a pity because there is a large group of reasonably well educated people and lot's of natural riches.

Not at all the same as Iran (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 years ago | (#33103034)

No, SA is, I think, better compared to Iran: a nation with a relatively affluent population that's under the thumb of oppression, both political and religious.

If you let SA create themselves a government, I very much doubt it would look that much different than you see today in terms of what the west considers oppression- it would just be many smaller groups dong the oppressing. That's why there not much chafing there from the people for any kind of large reform.

Now Iran on the other hand, the people as a whole are generally pretty secular and modern in thought, but they are truly kept down by an oppressive government. You can tell because people in Iran are willing to die or be seriously injured to try and throw the current government out of power. It's just that no-one is willing to help them, so they are basically stuck until they reach a critical mass or leadership weakens.

Re:What are they afraid of? (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about 4 years ago | (#33101768)

Maybe the people would form a stable government, and I quite agree that they should be given the best opportunity to do so. There's no reason, though, to believe that US support is the only thing keeping most of the country in the dark ages. There are plenty of African countries that are at least as fucked up as Saudi Arabia without US sponsorship.

The people would just re-initiate their age-old tribal warring until one group comes out on top.
Then we'll have Saudi Arabia v2.0.

Re:What are they afraid of? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33103706)

There are plenty of African countries that are at least as fucked up as Saudi Arabia without US sponsorship.

You're forgetting that the Saudi Arabian government is propped up partially by our willingness to sell them advanced weaponry. [fas.org] How many F-16s do we sell to Congo?

Re:What are they afraid of? (2, Informative)

Error27 (100234) | about 4 years ago | (#33103892)

I live in Zambia so I mostly know that area of Africa. The US was sponsering wars in Mozambique, Angola and Zaire as part of the cold war efforts.

Also the if you look at Sudan the civil war with the south and the current crisis in Darfur are funded by European oil interests. Read up on the story of Tiny Roland. He made his money by funding rebel movements in exchange for land and minerals. He was a large SPLA funder.

There is also a dictatorship in Equatorial Guinea funded by oil. The US is the largest foreign investor in that country.

Re:What are they afraid of? (1)

CdBee (742846) | about 4 years ago | (#33101210)

Absolutely. I'd say that the ethics of the Sauds and those of certain influential fringe movements in Israel represent the twin serious threats to stability in that neighbourhood.

Re:What are they afraid of? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33101440)

...certain influential fringe movements in Israel...

Yeah, like the fucking government.

Re:What are they afraid of? (1)

CdBee (742846) | about 4 years ago | (#33102362)

I try to be fair by pointing out that israel has had decent leadership and it wasn't always this way (but they shot him). Their star may yet fall. God, I hope it does..

Re:What are they afraid of? (4, Insightful)

gtall (79522) | about 4 years ago | (#33101602)

Yep, but let's not delude ourselves into thinking that if only the Saudi Arabian people voted in their own government, that government would turn out to be an enlightened democracy full of minority rights and respect for other religions. Instead, it would be a theocracy and probably worse than Iran's. The only non-gov. organization in that country which could count on the people's support would be the mullahs skulking in their mosques. Their notion of government is Fascist, just like Iran, with the added force of Islam to keep any one with an independent opinion in line. Their first edict after taking power would be to arm Hamas to the teeth in preparation for the next Israel-Islamic war. And they'd do it as soon as they can because they feel they are in competition with the Shi'ites in Iran and their dogs, Hezbollah, to be the leaders of the next "Final Solution" to their Jewish problem. However, the Jews here are a mere football to be used in conflict between the Sunni's and Shi'ites for the soul of Islam.

Re:What are they afraid of? (1)

fadethepolice (689344) | about 4 years ago | (#33103514)

I am not sure, but I think that until the installation of the nation of israel in 1948 most arab countries had a far better track record than most european countries on tolerance of jews. The quran teaches that jews, as people of "the book" are to be embraced. The second largest ethnic group in israel are descended from jews who were refugees from the massacres in spain during the inquisition. They found refuge in the ottoman empire and were embraced by the muslim empire. What really gets the goats of both sunni's and shiites is outside intervention in their lands through the unilateral drawing of borders by the british, french, etc., and the imposition of foreign military in their lands to secure the resources needed to prop up western society. The jews are the "sacrificial lamb" of the west in this endeavor and have mostly been brainwashed through the religious fanaticism termed zionism. It would have been a helluva lot easier to carve out a piece of alaska south or juneau for a jewish state rather than creating the state of israel. I, for one, am sick and tired of spending boatloads of money to secure a fading resource and vote that we abandon all of our military installations overseas and use the money saved to re-engineer our economy to be based on something other than resources that have to be robbed at gunpoint from religious fanatics who are suicidal maniacs.

Re:What are they afraid of? (1)

Infernal Device (865066) | about 4 years ago | (#33103532)

Personally, I think we should just pull out of that region completely for 50 years and let the chips fall where they may.

Evolve or die, assholes. Evolve or die.

Re:What are they afraid of? (4, Funny)

Xtifr (1323) | about 4 years ago | (#33102310)

It's a fucking monarchy in the 21st Century. We should be ashamed as a species.

Yeah, damn those British! Er, I mean, damn those Danes! I mean Swedes. I mean Spanish. No, I mean Japanese. Er, the Thai. No, the Tongans. Um...

Hmm, well at least we can all surely agree that removing a monarchy has always improved a country. Look at Russia. No, wait, China. No, Iran. Er....

Oh well, at least the most evil, murderous leaders of the Twentieth Century were all monarchs. Like Hitler and Stalin and Pol Pot and Idi Amin. Uh...

Dammit! As an American, I know you're right; I'm just having a hard time coming up with any evidence to support your statement. But that's ok, as an American, I don't need facts to be right. I just am. God said so. (Yes, I suppose that is the same God who appointed all those kings, why do you ask?) :)

In any case, I just know that Democracy is good. No Democracy has ever produced a leader who invaded Poland, followed by most of the rest of Europe, and then had millions of people put to death simply for their religious or sexual preferences. Oh crap.

Re:What are they afraid of? (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | about 4 years ago | (#33102348)

It's a fucking monarchy in the 21st Century.

You mean like the United ... wait for it ... KINGDOM? Or Sweden, or Denmark, or Netherlands, or Norway, or Luxemburg?

Re:What are they afraid of? (2, Interesting)

couchslug (175151) | about 4 years ago | (#33102350)

"It's amazing that the people of the US allow their government to keep propping it up. "

Oh no it isn't! The alternatives are even worse in every way.

The House of Saud are widely dispersed through KSA society, offer the only hope of stable government (that's entirely different from "good" government"), and their enemies help push them somewhat into our camp. It's like being allied with the Soviet Union during the Second World War. They are a smaller problem than their opponents. (Unlike the Soviets, the Saudis aren't getting killed in gratifying numbers, but Al Qaeda etc kill enough of them to be useful.) Diplomacy isn't nice, but "nice" is a childish metric.

Re:What are they afraid of? (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 4 years ago | (#33100890)

Sounds like wishful thinking on his part. Note how long his movement has been at it.

I agree but it has a kernel of truth in it nonetheless. And since the OP asked what they were afraid of the above scenario is definitely it. There can be no dissent because the spice, sorry oil, must flow or the house of cards will come tumbling down.

Re:What are they afraid of? (1)

westlake (615356) | about 4 years ago | (#33100908)

Prince warns S. Arabia of apocalypse

THe UAE is not Saudi Arabia.

Re:What are they afraid of? (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about 4 years ago | (#33100958)

Saudi Arabia is blocking Blackberry as well.

Re:What are they afraid of? (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about 4 years ago | (#33101794)

THe UAE is not Saudi Arabia.

Without Saudi Arabia and its American military backing, the UAE and every other Islamic country would be turned into a big piece of glass.

Re:What are they afraid of? (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about 4 years ago | (#33101740)

"If we are wise, we must leave this country to its people, whose dislike for us is increasing," said Prince Turki, advising Saudi officials to escape with their families.'

Then we can move to America, someplace hot, like Arizona.

Re:What are they afraid of? (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | about 4 years ago | (#33101938)

According to the dictates of poetic justice we should help them kick out the current population of Arizona, provide them with enough firepower to hold off the remaining "three corners" states, and talk about how wonderful it is to have an early-80's style South African "democracy" in the middle of such a desolate cultural wasteland.

I don't really see a downside. For me. Way over here.

Re:What are they afraid of? (1)

mano.m (1587187) | about 4 years ago | (#33103524)

Saudi Arabia != the Emirates.

I Can recall another issue with Blackberry (3, Insightful)

ControlsGeek (156589) | about 4 years ago | (#33100798)

Wasn't Barrack Obama's right to keep his Blackberry after he became President questioned because the server was hosted in Waterloo Ontario, at Blackberry's headquarters in Canada ? Blackberry's elliptical curve encryption algorithm ( formerly from Certicom) must be pretty tight.

Re:I Can recall another issue with Blackberry (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33100826)

No it was questioned because of the concern that some people would have a direct line to the president and others won't, thereby creating a situation of undue influence. I don't remember completely but I think one of the restrictions placed on his use is that it is only family and his staff that he can contact with the phone.

Re:I Can recall another issue with Blackberry (2, Insightful)

tivoKlr (659818) | about 4 years ago | (#33100956)

OK, I am an Obama supporter, but this disappoints me. Maybe it was just being starstruck when entering the oval office that would allow him to relinquish his right to make/receive phone calls, but this would be my first move to tell the SS to F-OFF when they tell me who I can and can't call on my own phone, if I were president...

Since my only historical transgression seems to be shared by our president, I suppose sometime in the future, if I get pissed off enough, I could be in his shoes, and at said moment, I hope that I would have the sack to impose my will on my subordinates.

I would understand if there was some sort of security concern but this smacks of censorship of the President.

Re:I Can recall another issue with Blackberry (3, Interesting)

icegreentea (974342) | about 4 years ago | (#33101132)

Well, the restrictions really don't matter cause all communications to/from the President must be recorded and be made available. Bush Jr gave up on his personal email (it was an aol account) when he became president cause he didn't want to have to disclose private information. Obama's BB will be under similar restrictions. Whatever BES he's attached to probably has all sorts of ridiculous auditing and filtering stuff turned on for his account. It's very much going to be 'boring' work phone.

Re:I Can recall another issue with Blackberry (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33101472)

well he's black so you KNOW he's got a prepaid phone somewhere.

Re:I Can recall another issue with Blackberry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33101176)

"Censorship"? Christ on a Fucking Crutch! Do you understand the concept of the president being subject to the laws passed by Congress? Have you ever heard of the "Presidential Records Act"?

Re:I Can recall another issue with Blackberry (2, Funny)

ControlsGeek (156589) | about 4 years ago | (#33102858)

If I had restrictions like that placed on me, I'd be learning pass gas in Morse Code!

Fine with a President using Blackberry for anyone (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 years ago | (#33103066)

No it was questioned because of the concern that some people would have a direct line to the president and others won't

I don't see that as a problem, at all.

As long as the full logs of who contacted the president on his blackberry are kept and made public.

I say, let the president use technology to the fullest and let the people he is representing see how he governs.

And that goes for any president.

As an added bonus presidential communications being public gives them just that much more appreciation for privacy concerns.

Re:I Can recall another issue with Blackberry (3, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 4 years ago | (#33101412)

Wasn't Barrack Obama's right to keep his Blackberry after he became President questioned because the server was hosted in Waterloo Ontario, at Blackberry's headquarters in Canada ?

No, it's because there are records retention requirements in government. Remember Sarah Palin and her personal email account? Same thing goes, here.

Re:I Can recall another issue with Blackberry (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about 4 years ago | (#33101816)

Wasn't Barrack Obama's right to keep his Blackberry after he became President questioned because the server was hosted in Waterloo Ontario, at Blackberry's headquarters in Canada ?

No, it's because there are records retention requirements in government. Remember Sarah Palin and her personal email account? Same thing goes, here.

Remember Nixon and his 18 minutes of audio tape? Sheesh.

Re:I Can recall another issue with Blackberry (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 4 years ago | (#33102924)

Remember Nixon and his 18 minutes of audio tape? Sheesh.

Sheesh? Huh? What's got your panties in a twist?

Re:I Can recall another issue with Blackberry (1)

k_187 (61692) | about 4 years ago | (#33103346)

He shouldn't be allowed to keep it because an unrelated administration 40 years ago intentionally erased records and you don't want him to do the same? Or he should be allowed to keep it because an unrelated administration 40 years ago intentionally erased records and therefore what the public doesn't know won't hurt them?

Just asking for clarification.

EVO (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | about 4 years ago | (#33100800)

The government has finally gone over the top at the HTC EVO likely being out of stock for the next 99 weeks

UAE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33100830)

Wow, for us who read UAE as Universal Amiga Emulator [wikipedia.org] that headline didn't make sense at all.

Re:UAE? (1)

siride (974284) | about 4 years ago | (#33101194)

That's why most people let context correctly disambiguate instead of assuming the least likely option.

Re:UAE? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33102528)

That's why most people let context correctly disambiguate instead of assuming the least likely option.

But disambiguation only works reliably if my dis am bigger than yours.

Re:UAE? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 4 years ago | (#33103206)

That's why most people let context correctly disambiguate instead of assuming the least likely option.

Unless we're talking about a typo, then we sit here and bitch and whine about how we're too smart to read it.

Re:UAE? (1)

siride (974284) | about 4 years ago | (#33103288)

Somehow, my messed up mind allows me to move right on past typos and obvious thinkos.

Re:UAE? (2, Funny)

rickb928 (945187) | about 4 years ago | (#33101340)

Yeah, that cost both of you 15 seconds of your life.

This is why there's no successful muslim economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33100894)

Rather than embrace the chaos and dynamism of changing ideas and turn over of ideas needed for technology to advance, they fear people having unfettered communications.

It's really sad.

Re:This is why there's no successful muslim econom (1)

Lobachevsky (465666) | about 4 years ago | (#33100922)

China seems to have a rather successful economy, and their policy toward RIM is just as strict.

Re:This is why there's no successful muslim econom (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about 4 years ago | (#33101842)

China seems to have a rather successful economy, and their policy toward RIM is just as strict.

Hong Kong is just as successful and China had nothing to do with it. Let's see what happens in 99 years.

Re:This is why there's no successful muslim econom (2, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | about 4 years ago | (#33100994)

There are some Islamic-ruled countries with wrecked economies, but some of them (such as UAE and Saudi Arabia, the ones we're talking about here) are in pretty good shape, and as long as the petroleum holds out, their economies will remain pretty damn successful.

Re:This is why there's no successful muslim econom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33101346)

I think the poster meant technologically innovative economy.

Re:This is why there's no successful muslim econom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33102556)

He said "successful", and he was talking out his ass.

Re:This is why there's no successful muslim econom (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 4 years ago | (#33102372)

A "successful" Muslim economy just means more weapons for the Jihadists they (all to some extent) support. It is my hope they embrace religion over knowledge and progress, because progress is a weapon.

Re:This is why there's no successful muslim econom (1)

mano.m (1587187) | about 4 years ago | (#33103556)

If only they could have the enviable debt and unemployment levels that the United States enjoys!

Emerging Rivalry (1, Interesting)

hyades1 (1149581) | about 4 years ago | (#33100946)

Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I wonder if India's response to Blackberry is part of an effort to present itself as a viable alternative to China for some segments of the medium- and high-tech manufacturing sector. Even with it problems, India has always shown a greater commitment to democracy than China ever has.

Re:Emerging Rivalry (4, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | about 4 years ago | (#33101022)

"India has always shown a greater commitment to democracy than China ever has."

That's... an understatement. In many ways, they do it better and with more commitment (e.g. higher voter turn-out) than the West does.

Re:Emerging Rivalry (0, Troll)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 4 years ago | (#33103814)

India culture is still based on the caste system. While their government has abolished it and has less of an impact in the cities, it's till very much alive in rural areas. So yes, it doesn't surprise me that there is a large voter turn-out. If you got the ass-end of the social the hierarchy, you'd turn out to vote too. No one else would listen.

Re:Emerging Rivalry (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33101050)

Greater commitment to democracy? India IS a democracy - a full fledged one, from 63 years! They have some flaws, but then which democracy doesn't?

Re:Emerging Rivalry (5, Informative)

icegreentea (974342) | about 4 years ago | (#33101166)

BlackBerrys are assembled in Canada, Mexico and Hungary. Most of the parts are manufactured from all across Asia (the low-end batteries are exclusively made in China, nearly all screens are made in Japan). It doesn't really look like that's really going to change in the future. In fact, I really don't know why RIM doesn't push this point more... it'll certainly please those pundits crying about the destruction of North America's manufacturing base. I mean, there's a BlackBerry factory right in Waterloo.

As for India's complaint, the summary is leaving out some important information. Couple years back they pressed on RIM, and RIM relented, agreeing to allow Indian security agencies access to BB comms on request (they have similar arrangements with North American law enforcement and intelligence agencies I imagine). RIM did not agree to setup a local NOC (the server where all BB traffic flows) in India. Lately, RIM agreed to set up a NOC in China (giving Chinese agencies somewhat easier access to BB traffic), in exchange for being able to do business there. India is ticked off cause they wanted the same setup and is now pushing again. It's not a question of India getting access to local BB traffic, its a question of how easy it is for them to get it.

Re:Emerging Rivalry (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | about 4 years ago | (#33101808)

Although the matter immediately at hand concerned Blackberry, I don't believe India was speaking to that situation. I think, rather, that a broad statement of intent was being made, using Blackberry as a platform. I live less than an hour from that Waterloo assembly plant, and I have a lot of respect for the way RIM has conducted itself. They're one of Canada's very best corporate ambassadors.

Re:Emerging Rivalry (1)

dooode (1134443) | about 4 years ago | (#33102204)

May be it has nothing to do with rivalry for India. India's problems with terrorism are quite genuine and there have been so many recent cases where the Indian Police have tracked calls to foil terrorist plans or trace them.

Given that Blackberry co-operates so much with US agencies, agrees to set up a server in China that would only be used for political purposes rather than defense or security, it makes sense for India to get dissed. And with almost explosive growth of cellphone users in India, with around 40 million* new users added per year, why should India care about Blackberry? Google, Apple and others have all entered this smart phone segment, and they can all be viable alternatives.

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_mobile_phones_in_use

I've worked in the UAE (4, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | about 4 years ago | (#33100966)

Just about every Emirati out there has either an iPhone, a Blackberry or both. It's a land of new money run riot, both for the locals and the expats - flaunting what you have, no matter how vulgar the behaviour, is the order of the day and "understated" doesn't appear in the dictionary. RIM's best strategy on this would probably be to refuse to back down and wait for the inevitable shit storm from the Emirati's who are no longer able to send and receive email. Worst case scenario is that they lose a tiny, albeit affluent, market. Big deal.

Saudi too (3, Interesting)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 4 years ago | (#33101016)

Some other places are reporting this as both saudi and the UAE (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100801/world/ml_emirates_blackberry). Saudi being a somewhat bigger market.

US is the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33101084)

Yea they suck but I see so many from the US on here bashing them when the US is not much better.

The US does all the same shit!

Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33101152)

"'In their current form, certain BlackBerry services allow users to act without any legal accountability, causing judicial, social and national security concerns for the UAE.'"

"'In their current form, BlackBerry encryption services work correctly and prevent us from fully enforcing an oppressive police state, causing judicial, social and national security concerns for the control freaks in power in the UAE.'"

Newspeak version:

"Blackberry encryption equals thoughtcrime."

The problem with centralized control (4, Informative)

DRBivens (148931) | about 4 years ago | (#33101622)

"... services will be suspended"

This, IMHO, is only hinting at the real problem: Blackberry internet services are provided through a central server (BIS or BES) that acts as a proxy; the handheld device doesn't access the HTTP, POP, or IMAP services directly (at least with the provided apps).

RIM's encryption is pretty darned good, but this "server in the middle" method of operation gives some Security folks headaches because of the possibilities for mischief.

While it is very nice for corporate monitoring and control, the downside is that a government can easily shut down BB services by blocking the server. If the BB was a true Internet client, this would not be the case.

 

Re:The problem with centralized control (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33102186)

The fact that RIM has the servers in the middle makes them a target for every intel agency out there. Who wouldn't want to have access to a server that all messaging goes through to know how to one-up some competition, or find a soft target for a strike if the dislike of another nation is big enough?

RIM is getting battered by a lot of countries because they see the fact that they don't have do any work at all other than run an advanced data mining program if they get access to unencrypted data coming from RIM's servers. Had RIM went with a security model where each device had its own connection via SSL or TLS to E-mail servers (essentially what all the competition does), this would not be an issue in any way, shape, or form.

However, other than the fact that one needs to go through RIM's servers, Blackberries are the most secure devices available to the enterprise. I'm hoping that Apple and Google see this and are able to work on security implementations to be on par with Blackberries. Remote wipe is good, but RIM's offerings have the option to wipe themselves if they don't have a network connection in "X" amount of time, lock with a new PIN, require a CAC and a Bluetooth CAC reader to unlock, completely encrypt every single byte both on the phone and the memory card (Windows Mobile encrypts just the memory card. iOS encrypts a few records. Android encrypts nothing except for apps stored on the memory card in 2.2 [1]. Until real security is added to the competition that makes them enterprise-level, Blackberries will always be king in business.

[1]: Implementing real encryption on Android would be insanely easy. Put the user data on a LUKS encrypted partition, store the key in its own partition that is wiped multiple times on a hard reset, and have the memory card use either EncFS for file based encryption, or LUKS for image based security.

Wrong info on iOS encryption (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 years ago | (#33102994)

iOS encrypts a few records.

That has not been true since the 3Gs. Current iPhones (and the 3Gs) encrypts the whole storage, which is why you can remote wipe them instantly as opposed to a very like wipe period for the older phone, and also be set to wipe after a few incorrect PIN entries.

I would say a device that communicates directly to corporate servers is in the end inherently more secure than something that must send traffic through a third party. Blackberry still has better local physical security measures but both Android and iOS are catching up.

Just goes to show you (1)

Lucky75 (1265142) | about 4 years ago | (#33101644)

...how good Blackberry security is if they have countries worried that they won't be able to spy on their citizens and visitors properly without the password ;)

Fascism is fine in foreign countries (2, Interesting)

gelfling (6534) | about 4 years ago | (#33102724)

As long as it protects ME when I travel there. In any case, I am fine with this.

Re:Fascism is fine in foreign countries (1)

mano.m (1587187) | about 4 years ago | (#33103606)

I don't mind India being able to intercept communications. That might have prevented the Taj attacks in Bombay. Americans need to fly halfway across the world to fight the Taliban. India has a border with Pakistan. Imagine al-Qaeda operating out of Mexico.
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