Twitterverse erupts in wake of BlackBerry ban

UAE shoots into top ten trending topics on Twitter, following BlackBerry ban announcement.

CONTROVERSY: BlackBerry devices route data through an offshore provider, allowing users to send messages that can’t be monitored by UAE authorities.

CONTROVERSY: BlackBerry devices route data through an offshore provider, allowing users to send messages that can’t be monitored by UAE authorities.

The UAE shot into the top ten trending topics on Twitter, following an outcry from social media users on Sunday’s news that the country plans to ban BlackBerrys.

Twitterers took to the internet to protest an announcement from the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), that it plans to suspend the device from October amid security concerns over BlackBerry Messenger, BlackBerry email and BlackBerry web services.

BlackBerry devices route data through an offshore provider, allowing users to send messages that can’t be monitored by UAE authorities.

On Twitter, social media users reacted quickly. Here is a sample of the comments:

Haboushy: They are killing the BlackBerry craze as of Oct 11. So much for a ‘modernized’ UAE.

forzaq8: What is the BlackBerry without its BBM service? Flood of new/used BB from the UAE coming soon.

Shaluc: Why October? If it threatens the social and national security of UAE, shouldn't the BlackBerry ban be immediate?

LivelyBrunette:
Dear Blackberry, I won. Love, Apple.

By 1pm, the words ‘BlackBerry’ ‘suspend’ and ‘Etisalat’ were charting over the UAE on real-time Twitter mapping tool, Trendsnet.

There are an estimated 500,000 BlackBerry users in the UAE; the devices are thought to comprise about 10 percent of the country’s mobile phones.

Bloggers are also weighing in on the debate. Writing on his site Fake Plastic Souks, prominent Dubai-based blogger Alexander McNabb asked whether BlackBerry users will receive a refund if the ban goes ahead.

“I look forward to this move being 'clarified',” he wrote. “As it stands, it's yet another attempt to bomb ourselves back into the digital stone age. The madness of it all is that nothing has changed about the BlackBerry or the way in which the device works… since [it] was first introduced to the UAE. If you can't live with it now - you shouldn't have sold it to us back then.”

Research In Motion, the Canadian maker of the BlackBerry, was not immediately available for comment.

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Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Edward

Have seen many questionable actions; but this one made my day. This is bad for the UAE, its people and business, just on top all other distastes it has brought upon the innocents. I'm also now believing that the UAE is not such place to live at all if the BB is such a security threat... now its proven we are not told what is really going on!

Posted by: Freedom Fighter

Welcome to our "Free" Zones, Corporate World. We would like you to relocate your headquarters here but we will block half the internet and render your Blackberry useless.

Posted by: wrong picture??

The picture of the young lady chosen for this artice reinforces the stereotype that seems to exist in the GCC that the blackberry is some sort of pick-up tool whereas in all other parts of the world it is just a secure way for business people to communicate. Well done AB.

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