Research in Motion

Blackberry Messenger: Hand Us Encryption Code Or Face Ban

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Jul 30, 2010

[Update below] On the morning of July 29, Reporters Without Borders reported that several citizens of the United Arab Emirates has been arrested for allegedly using BlackBerry Messenger to coordinate a protest against the high price of gasoline. This news comes on the heels of several countries’ working to block or severely limit the use of BlackBerry Messenger in their respective countries. There have also been reports on RIM setting up a server in China under Chinese pressure, even though could not directly verify these reports.

On July 25th, the United Arab Emirate’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority said that they believed BlackBerrys could be used in a way that compromised national security, in April of 2010 Bahrain issued a ban against using the chat feature to share local news, and now India has joined the ranks of countries requesting access to data and information sent over BBM. 

Reporters Without Borders has been covering the controversy in the Middle East. Regarding the arrests in the U.A.E., the organization reports:

The authorities were able to trace the organizer, known as “Saud,” because he included his BlackBerry PIN in a BBM message he sent calling for the protest. They held Saud for a week and used his phone to trace those he had been messaging. Accused of inciting opposition to the government, he has lost his job. At least five other members of the group have reportedly been summoned by the police or are still being sought.

Blackberry Messenger: Hand Us Encryption Code Or Face Ban data sheet 14311 Views
Countries: United Arab Emirates