BlackBerry Services Now Switched Off in Saudi Arabia

, Aug 6, 2010 07:21 AM

Governments want to read your email !!!!  Look what happens when they cant.


BlackBerry Services Now Switched Off  in Saudi Arabia

Ignoring RIM CEO Mike Lazardis’ threat that this would lead to bigger things, the Saudi Arabian government went ahead and turned off the BlackBerry data services as of about 4am EST today. This has not made citizens happy.

The 700,000 Saudi Arabians relying on their BlackBerrys for messaging have suddenly found their phones are rendered partly-useless—or at least, not doing what it says on the tin. This is unlikely to change, unless RIM bows down to security concerns and houses a data center in the country, instead of storing all data in their Canadian server center.

Had they not switched off the service, RIM would have been fined $1.3m reportedly. The UAE is next to switch off BlackBerry services from October 11th, and Lebanon and India are also said to be close to pressing the banhammer key too. [Bangkok Post]

Image of Buzz Mega Buzz Mega 02:18 PM
A new group, al Beri, vows to jihad.

Image of geolemon geolemon 01:20 PM
Blackberry does what they do.
For the Saudi gov’t to say Blackberry HAS to build a data center in Saudi Arabia – that’s silly. Unless the Saudi government wants to pay for it to be built and run, and pay fees for Blackberry to manage it…
…then, I think BB should come to the table to talk.
Otherwise – they do what they do. They have a business model. Sorry, desert folk.

Image of JimmyBanks6 JimmyBanks6 01:11 PM
why has this not been updated that the service is back on and was only out for a few hours?


RutgerHauer promoted this comment

Image of Ahmed.Alzayani Ahmed.Alzayani 12:59 PM
Who’s right Saudi/UAE government or RIM?

Before i start , i would like to share background info about UAE BB ban :

The ban trace back to al-Mabhouh Assassination ( [] ) ; on January 19, 2010, al-Mabhouh was killed in his room in a hotel in Dubai, Dubai police investigation lead to 11 individuals carrying fake or fraudulently obtained passports, and all communications between those 11 was done using Blackberry ( more info here: [] ).

As part of the investigation, UAE Dubai police asked Blackberry maker RIM to hand over all communications records of the 11 suspect, RIM rejected.

Back to original question :

Who’s right Saudi/UAE government or RIM?

let’s see:

Saudi/UAE government side:

Governments have the obligation to protect there citizen and there nation security, this is way all government puts regulation and laws, now providing security without comprising privacy or freedom is hard, very hard , just see USA (who always brag about there freedom and privacy) government record in communication spying (read [] , spying ), when to come to national security, national security always take priority.

RIM side :

RIM have the obligation to protect it’s use privacy, however the first thing strike me … they are hypocrite … see how the are wiling to provide India with data access: [] , also they allowed Russia to have it’s own servers: [] , and allowing U.S. authorities to tap into BlackBerry: []

RIM need to respect the law of nations that they provide services in, this include in cretin cases access to encrypted data . why they allow access in certain nations and not in the others?

UAE were having a solid case to ask for Blackberry data over al-Mabhouh assassination case, so i would say UAS/Saudi is right in this ban, RIM failed to respect these nation law and security and thus deserve this.


Image of Canoehead Canoehead 12:33 PM
I found the Servers!

Image of mtfmuffins mtfmuffins 12:07 PM

Oh Saudi’s. TRANSLTR already reads all your emails.

Silverhold probably shouldn’t have promoted this comment

Image of mfahhad mfahhad 11:56 AM
im here in saudi and the service is still working
the saudi government has denied any threat to rim they never mentioned any cutting of the service they only said that they will fine rim that’s it
they never said shutting down the service is an option

so please gizmodo get you sources right
Bangkok post are wrong

benjgvps approved this comment

Image of firite firite 11:37 AM

Stand your ground, RIM. bowing down only makes countries think they have influence over companies, which is bad for business, competition and the consumer.

Gizmodo, the Gadget Guide.

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