Tuesday, April 19, 2011

UAE to restrict access to BlackBerry email service

NEW DELHI: Research In Motion (RIM) on Sunday confirmed that access to BlackBerry's encrypted email service would be restricted in UAE. According to proposed guidelines only the organizations with 20 or more subscription ofBlackBerry Enterprise Server will be allowed access to BlackBerry's encrypted email services. 

The company said that move has been mandated by new government policies in UAE that require all smartphone vendors not to provide encrypted email service to individual customers. 

"The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (of UAE) has confirmed to RIM that any potential policy regarding enterprise services in the UAE would be an industry-wide policy applying equally to all enterprise solution providers," the company said in an emailed statesman. 

Last week when the reports of restriction on encrypted email services surfaced, UAE officials had denied any such plans. 

RIM is reportedly negotiating with India over government access to its enterprise servers. India claims that lack of government access to encrypted Blackberry services is a threat to national security. In the past RIM had said that each enterprise maintained its own encryption keys for its account with BlackBerry. Its officials claimed that providing this key to government was not possible for RIM. 

A few days ago when asked about RIM's negotiations with India over security issue, the company president, Mike Lazaridis, stormed out of a BBC show. He claimed that the questions were "unfair".

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