Saudis delay BlackBerry ban

Robert Clark & Liam Tung
09 Aug 2010
00:00
News
Daily News

Saudi Arabia has delayed the deadline for the cutoff of BlackBerry data services as operators try to implement a possible fix.

The Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) said it would extend the deadline as telcos test a solution that reportedly involves installing RIM servers in the kingdom that authorities could monitor, AP reported.

The Saudi Press Agency reported Sunday that the country’s three telcos have until the end of Monday to complete the fix.

About 700,000 BlackBerry accounts are in service in Saudi Arabia, making it RIM’s biggest market in the Middle East.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has 500,000 users, plans to ban the device on security grounds from October 11, while Lebanon and India are also weighing prohibitions.

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said last week she had held discussions with the UAE and other states over the issue, acknowledging they faced “legitimate” security concerns.

Clinton said the US was working with all the countries involved to find a resolution.

“It involves a very complex set of issues,” she said, adding that any resolution would be based on “technical and expert discussions.”

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