Saudi Arabia postpones Blackberry ban


Saudi Arabia postpones Blackberry ban

Warwick Ashford

Saudi authorities delayed Friday's planned ban on the instant messaging services offered by Blackberry because of concerns about security.

Authorities had said services would be blocked from 6 August, but agreed to postpone the move pending the testing of servers based in Saudi Arabia.

The tests began after last-ditch talks between Blackberry maker Research In Motion and the Saudi telecoms authorities.

All local Blackberry data will be channelled through the servers set up for each of the three local mobile operators before reaching RIM's servers in Canada.

The regulator will allow Blackberry services to continue if satisfied that the three servers will grant it access to Blackberry data and communications, Saudi reports said.

The three Saudi mobile operators have until today to fulfil unspecified requirements to avoid the ban, the reports said.

Kuwait has announced it is also talking to RIM about security and moral concerns.

RIM has come under increasing pressure from Gulf states to allow access to encrypted Blackberry communications because of security and moral concerns.

But the device manufacturer has until now been unwilling to make compromises to its security model in which no third party is given access to the encrypted data.

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