BlackBerry Messenger faces closure in Saudi

Saudi telecoms regulator seeks access to monitor messages on Blackberry device.

BLACKBERRY MESSENGER: There have been rumours that the BBM service will stop on Saturday. (Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

BLACKBERRY MESSENGER: There have been rumours that the BBM service will stop on Saturday. (Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

Saudi Arabia’s Communication and Information Technology Commission has asked Canada-based Research In Motion, the company that owns BlackBerry Messenger, to allow the telecoms regulator access to monitor messages sent by the mobile device, according to media reports.

The Arab News daily quoted the Al Watan newspaper as saying that the CITC wants to have access in order to monitor the messages in the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) network, threatening to shut down the service for noncompliance.

BBM is a special messaging service for BlackBerry phone users. For a monthly flat fee, BlackBerry owners can share messages, IM and multimedia with other BlackBerry owners, Arab News said.

There have been rumours that the BBM service will stop on Saturday.

Arab News added that the CITC was unavailable for comment on Friday.

Meanwhile, BBM maker Research in Motion (RIM) on Friday said it is investigating reports in the Arab press that Saudi regulators have asked the company for access to its unique messaging service for its BlackBerry devices.

"RIM operates in more than 170 countries around the world and respects the regulatory requirements of governments," the company said in a statement issued to Arab News.

"RIM is investigating the reported matter in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and will provide an update once further information is available to share," the statement added.

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Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Ahmed

I just got my bb and its amazing y on eart would u wanna close it tht will b dissapointing for all memebers of bbm!

Posted by: Mohammed

I?m in Riyadh, and I got my BB Bold from Axiom Telecom last week, who gave me a great offer on the device. The BBM service is excellent and I?d hate for it to see closure over here.

Posted by: Mark

This isnt a Saudi issue, ALL Governments watch your email, SMS traffic. Its called lawful interception. Many countries had issues with RIM in the Beginning and then they gave in on the encryption otherwise their business would fail. google it and get informed.

Posted by: Emir

Almost all Govts in the world [US/India] are monitoring email/msn conversations - so whats the big deal? Yes its an invasion of privacy but this is the new reality in todays world. No point picking on Saudis for that.

Posted by: Ritta

Why?! what is the point behind this? I dont understand these contradiction regulations

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