Monday, October 11, 2010

UAE drops threat to BlackBerry: access to emails at a point out of RIM’s control

Tony Cripps, Ovum principal analyst

AUSTRALIA: The decision by the United Arab Emirates telecoms regulator to continue to allow BlackBerry service in the country implies that a pragmatic resolution to the ongoing dispute has been reached. It is certainly good news for RIM and its users in the UAE.

That said, it is unclear what will have changed in the nature of the RIM service that could lead the regulator to be “satisfied services on the devices are now compliant with its security needs” as has been reported when it had previously said the encryption of the BlackBerry service and the storage of data outside of the UAE’s border contravened local policy.

RIM itself has said nothing on the statement but has previously been very clear that it would not change the architecture of the BlackBerry services to placate countries who found its extremely tight security objectionable. After all, solid security has been one of the main foundations of RIM’s success over the past 10 years.

As such, we can only hypothesise that some kind of workaround has been agreed in terms and conditions between the UAE regulator and local carriers – and no doubt with RIM’s input – to gain access to emails sent over the BlackBerry service at a point in the delivery process that is outside of RIM’s control.

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