Suspension of BlackBerry Services is a sovereign matter

Filed on August 3, 2010

DUBAI – The Director General of Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), Mohammed Nasser Al Ghanim, confirmed that the suspension of some of the “BlackBerry” services is a sovereign issue concerning the right of the State to preserve the confidentiality of information and correspondence, commercial, official and personal data, and to protect the national economy and companies from any threats.

He denied rumours about violation of users’ freedom.

The move, he underlined, is not a reaction in the backdrop of widespread rumours or breach of social or legal values through the service.

“Such a conviction amounts to marginalisation of the issue”, he said in a statement.

TRA has decided to suspend Blackberry Messenger, Blackberry E-mail and Blackberry Web-browsing services in the UAE from October 11, 2010. The suspension is a result of the failure of attempts that have been made with the Canadian Company RIM (Research In Motion) to make these services in full compliance with UAE regulations.

Al Ghanim confirmed: “first and foremost, this matter relates to the sovereignty of the state on its information as all “BlackBerry” users from administrators, businessmen and owners of companies need to keep their data and information within the state to preserve the confidentiality of information”.

He added that TRA demands were limited to keep the server in the State not to censor it but to make sure the users’ data and information are in the custody of national companies without being circulated on servers based in foreign countries. He confirmed that the Canadian company refusal to respond to this demand is not justified, particularly as they agreed to this procedure in other countries.

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