The Middle East goes to war on BlackBerry customers
Poor Research in Motion (RIM); in the same month that Apple attempted to drag the BlackBerry into their iPhone 4 shenanigans, now the Middle East are pulling out the big guns, too. Both the UAE and Saudi Arabia are preparing to block key BlackBerry functions, because the states can't snoop on what users are up to.
While Saudi Arabia is to block Blackberry users from instant messaging one another, the United Arab Emirates is going the whole hog, and banning the sending of emails, accessing the internet, and use of instant messaging too. The UAE will begin blocking services in October, while Saudi Arabia are getting to work this month.
A year ago, attempts made by the United Arab Emirates to fill the handsets with spyware went south, so now RIM is being blackmailed with a loss of services - unless it hands over information that allows the telecoms regulator to decrypt customer communications. There are over a million BlackBerry customers in both states, but it's likely that RIM will maintain its integrity and not cave into the demand, leaving customers in the UAE with a phone that won't do what they bought it for. Like an Apple 3G with iOS4, then. See, they're just alike!