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UAE repeals RIM’s Blackberry service ban

Jenny Williams

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has cancelled a potential Blackberry service suspension from 11 October and said Blackberry-maker Research in Motion's (RIM) services are now compliant with its security needs.

The UAE reportedly asked RIM to provide access to encrypted services, threatening a suspension of Blackberry messaging services from 11 October until the firm co-operated.

But the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said Blackberry now meets its security requirements.

"Blackberry services are now compliant with the UAE's telecommunications regulatory framework," said the TRA.

"Therefore, the TRA has confirmed today that all Blackberry services in the UAE will continue to operate as normal and no suspension of service will occur on October 11, 2010. The TRA would like to acknowledge the positive engagement and collaboration of RIM in reaching this regulatory-compliant outcome."

The TRA threatened to block Blackberry messaging services after saying it believed the Blackberry smartphone is open to misuse and poses a security risk.

RIM previously said other governments were finding ways to live with strong encryption, and the only way forward was to work together.

"The use of strong encryption in wireless technology is not unique to the Blackberry platform. It is unquestionably an industry-wide matter," RIM said in a statement.

RIM is under increasing pressure to provide access to some of its data and has faced criticism from other countries, including Saudi Arabia and India. All three governments requested access to Blackberry's encrypted corporate e-mail service and messaging services, amid fears that these could be used by terrorists.

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