BlackBerry wins Saudi reprieve

Robert Clark & Liam Tung
11 Aug 2010

The beleaguered BlackBerry won a reprieve from Saudi authorities yesterday after Research In Motion (RIM) reportedly struck a deal that will allow security agencies to track its Messenger IM application.

After the deadline for the closure of the service passed on Monday, the Saudi Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) said that following a “positive development” it would allow the service to continue, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Wire service Reuters said RIM had promised to hand over user codes that would let Saudi authorities read the encrypted Messenger data from between Saudi users.

Unlike smart devices made by Nokia or Apple, BlackBerry data is encrypted and sent over RIM’s own servers.

Despite the deal in Saudi Arabia, the BlackBerry still faces bans in the United Arab Emirates, India and possibly Lebanon.

Separately, a German minister has warned officials against using BlackBerrys following an escalation of cyber attacks against government networks.

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