Feeds

UAE unbans BlackBerrys

And why might that be, pray?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The United Arab Emirates has cancelled the planned ban on RIM's BlackBerry service, saying that it no longer represents a threat to national security, but not explaining why.

The ban had been scheduled to start on Monday, but the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has now decided against implementing the ban as "Blackberry services are now compliant with the UAE’s telecommunications regulatory framework".

That means the half-million BlackBerry users in the UAE will stay connected next week, along with visiting tourists and businessmen, apparently subject to the scrutiny of local law enforcement - though we don't know how, as RIM isn't saying.

Intercepting web browsing, instant messaging and mail hosted by RIM is relatively easy, as one catches the data at the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). But if the customer is running their own BES then one is forced to intercept communications between the handset and the BES - impractical given the strength of encryption involved.

The rescinded ban means that RIM has either managed to convince the UAE government that terrorists are unlikely to be running their own BES, or that the company has provided some sort of back door into handsets or BES servers. The latter seems unlikely, so we'd bet money on the former.

More important, to RIM, is if it can convince India of the same thing. The Indian government gave RIM 60 days to sort out lawful intercept, which runs out at the end of October.

Not that it matters - the kerfuffle around the issue will be enough to drive the properly paranoid off the BlackBerry service, while the technically-astute terrorist will continue to use one of the plethora of alternative secure channels available to them. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity
What really shortens lives? Reading this sort of crap in the papers
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
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.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?