Saudi, UAE set to ban some Blackberry features

     Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have decided to ban some functions of Blackberry phones due to security concerns. The UAE is set to block emailing facility, internet access, and instant messaging service to other Blackberry handsets. Saudi Arabia is to ban the use of the Blackberry to Blackberry instant messaging service. Both countries say they are unable to monitor such communications via the handsets since the Blackberry handsets automatically send the encrypted data to computer servers outside of the two nations. The UAE ban will come into effect in October, while Saudi's move will begin later this month. Abdulrahman Mazi, a board member of state-controlled Saudi Telecom, said the decision is intended to pressurise Blackberry's Canadian owner, Research in Motion (RIM), to release data from users' communications "when needed", reports The BBC . The UAE's telecoms regulator, TRA , said the lack of compliance with local laws raised "judicial, social and national security concerns". While RIM is yet to comment on either case, the decision may unsettle some 500,000 Blackberry users in the UAE, and 400,000 in Saudi Arabia.

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