Etisalat and Du respond to BlackBerry ban

UAE telcos confirm they are looking to deliver alternative solutions to BlackBerry customers.

UAE telcos Etisalat and du have confirmed they will comply with the TRA’s decision to suspend certain BlackBerry services starting October 11, 2010.

The two operators each issued short statements, in which they confirmed they were looking to deliver alternative solutions to BlackBerry customers who face being unable to use services providing email, web browsing, instant messaging and social networking.

“This is an important decision made by the Regulatory Authority and we fully understand the legal and social considerations behind the decision,” said Etisalat in a statement.

“Etisalat's focus at the current time is to make sure its valued customers experience continuity of mobility services. In line with its commitment towards its customers, Etisalat will soon be announcing a range of alternative mobility products and services for its existing BlackBerry customers.”

Du said that customers would be able to continue using their BlackBerry devices for Voice, SMS, MMS and web browsing, but not using the BlackBerry service. It added that other applications which do not use BlackBerry services will remain unaffected.

“This is an important decision taken by the Telecommunications Regulatory authority and as a licensed telecom service provider we shall fully comply by this instruction,” said du in its statement.

“Since a number of du customers are BlackBerry subscribers, du will ensure that it provides all its affected customers with an alternative solution that meets their needs with minimal disruption to their services,” it continued.

“In the coming days du will be making an announcement on the full plan and shall inform all customers on the implementation of this alternative plan.”

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Posted by: thinktank

If blackberry is banned for not sharing confidality with UAE govt, i am sure apple palm nokia and others are sharing. whcih means those who use those phones have no privacy??

Posted by: Tayoto

Oh and please check the wikipedia entry for "Fernmeldegeheimnis" in reference to emails and electronic communication (german wikipedia, you can use google translate) it is against the law to intercept and listen to these kind of communication WITHOUT a court order and a case being made. So please, prooooooof :-)

Posted by: Tayoto

Access gates are not disputed here. As I said, case by case and with warrant and/or court order. The Bundesverfassungsgericht ruled on the 2nd of March 2010 that the Vorratsdatenspeicherung is against the law in Germany. Ok, take your example of Germany and show me the law please. Also, please indicate under which circumstances and conditions this lawful interception can be used and if a court order is required, if this evidence can be used in a court of law and so on. Which encryption technology is banned in Germany for example for private communication? Show me. I do not dispute that this is happening on a case by case basis and for specific, targeted incidents. However it requires a governing, independent judge/court to issue a warrant as far as I know. Again, proof me wrong or tell me the law text and paragraph where to find that and please understand, I don't mean that in a bad way, just as a challenge. Everyone is claiming things but nobody can proof it. Please search for it, you mentioned the example of Germany, so please, show me. Am really willing to learn and believe you but I have not seen any proof no matter how hard I search.

Posted by: James Morris

While its difficult for UAE Blackberry users, at least they have the option of changing handsets with mimimum fuss. What about the thousands of business travellers to the region who are in and out in a day or two. Are they meant to use alternative smartphones just for their time in UAE (but not Qatar or Bahrain) or are they expected to (god forbid) go to an internet cafe for the duration of their trip. This will not go down well with the international business community who face being seriously disadvantaged by this move

Posted by: Tayoto

The US do not have a carte blanche to read every BB data as the previous poster thinks. Nor does the UK or any other government. Do you think European Governments would use BBs when the US can read everything? Or the Russian that are in a Spywar with the US? Get real. Give me one single bit of proof. RIM does allow governments access to a PERSONS data if they suspect him of terrorism or any other serious misconduct and if the respective government has a court order. Yes, they do respect court orders. But this requires a case being made. What the UAE government is asking for might be a huge pipeline into all data that is transmitted into, inside and out of the UAE and search it for keywords or just copy and store it. This is by no means the same. One is detailed surveillance of everyone without any suspicion and one is the specific surveillance of a dedicated person that is suspected of wrongdoings officially requested by a judge or warrant. Anyhow, people who have something to hide would find ways of secure communications in any case, tools are a plenty and widely available. If you are on a company Blackberry Enterprise Server you can add another layer of security on top of the standard encryption of RIM and NOT EVEN RIM can break that encryption or read your emails/chats. Whoever claims that the US, UK and Russia and India, China and whoever can simply flip a switch and read any Blackberry communication is simply not correctly informed. Am happy to be proven wrong, so please, any proof anyone? this might help!

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