Feeds

Saudi Arabia beats UAE to BlackBerry ban

Shutters come down Friday

Security for virtualized datacentres

BlackBerry users residing in, or visiting, Saudi Arabia should ensure that they can get to their messages another way, as the government is asking operators to block RIM’s email service from Friday.

Other countries, notably the neighbouring UAE, have threatened to cut off the BlackBerry's email service, which provides messages over an encrypted channel that’s inaccessible without RIM’s approval. But if the Saudi block goes ahead on Friday, as Reuters is reporting, then Saudi will be the first country in which BlackBerrys just don't work.

Hours before that news broke RIM’s executives were saying that banning BlackBerrys wasn’t really practical, as they had become the tools of government. "I believe they'll have trouble pulling the trigger to shut down BlackBerry," Reuters was told. "Most governments in the world rely on BlackBerry."

Obviously not in the Middle East. The United Arab Emirates is also planning to prevent BlackBerrys from communicating with their out-of-country servers, but not until October to give users a chance to change technologies or - more likley - for RIM to capitulate and allow the UAE access to those servers.

RIM has agreements with more than a hundred governments allowing their security services to intercept messages when necessary, but the UAE’s clumsy attempt to infiltrate BlackBerry handsets starkly demonstrated that it is not on the approved list. Neither, it seems, is Saudi Arabia.

Push email, long the killer feature for BlackBerrys, is standard smartphone fare these days, but companies wanting to replace Enterprise applications developed on RIM’s architecture will have a harder time. Alternatives do exist, and competitors are no doubt already flying into the region to push them.

The other approach, espoused by companies such as AstraSync, is to replicate the RIM servers within the country concerned (and thus open to local examination), but that would require working with the local telecommunications networks and government, which isn’t going to happen before Friday. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.