Saudi rules out ban on BlackBerry Messenger - paper

'Organisational framework does not permit anyone to exploit the service' - official.
SAUDI BAN: Earlier this year, there were rumours that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) would be banned in the kingdom. (Getty Images)
By Neeraj Gangal
Sat 22 May 2010 04:17 PM

Saudi Arabia's telecommunications watchdog has ruled out banning the messenger service from BlackBerry, according to a report.

The Arab News daily reported on Friday that the Kingdom’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) said there was no reason to do so if only a minority had misused the facility.

"We look at the needs of society as well as the regulatory aspects of the BlackBerry service in a balanced manner. The organisational framework does not permit anyone to exploit the service. Therefore, there is no need for stopping the service," said deputy governor of CITC for legal matters Daifallah Al-Zahrani.

He was addressing participants of a workshop on cyber crime organised by the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Dammam on Thursday.

Earlier this year, there were rumours that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) would be banned in the kingdom following reports that CITC had asked the device's Canadian manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) to allow the regulator to be able to monitor messages sent via the service.

The Arab News daily had 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.

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