UAE to suspend key BlackBerry services in October
Gulf business hub the United Arab Emirates said on Sunday that it will suspend key BlackBerry services from October because they are incompatible with local laws and raise security concerns.
The suspension will kick in on October 11 and last until a solution compatible with local legislation is reached, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said on Sunday in a statement on its website.
It said the decision was taken "after failing to make progress in repeated attempts to make BlackBerry services compatible" with the UAE legal framework.
"Due to its technical nature, some BlackBerry services, like the messenger, email, and web browsing, remain beyond the implementation of local laws," the TRA said.
It said these services could "allow individuals to commit violations without being subject to legal accountability, which would lead to dangerous implications on the social, judicial and national security."
"In the public interest, we have today informed the providers of telecommunications services in the country of our decision to suspend the BlackBerry services of messenger, email and electronic browsing," TRA chief Mohammed al-Ghanem said in the statement.
He said the suspension will remain in force "until a solution compatible with the telecommunications laws in the country is reached."
The move would affect an estimated 500,000 BlackBerry users in a country that has established itself as a major business hub, mainly in the bustling emirate of Dubai.
In anticipation of communication problems that would arise from cutting the service, Ghanem said that providers Etisalat and Du have been told they should provide alternatives.