BlackBerry PlayBook rolling out to 16 new countries soon

By on June 10, 2011 at 9:41 AM.

BlackBerry PlayBook rolling out to 16 new countries soon

RIM has announced that the company’s first BlackBerry tablet will go on sale in sixteen new countries over the next month, including Australia, France, Germany, India, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. Its unclear if RIM has any carrier partners lined up or how much the device will retail for abroad. In the United States, Sprint most recently announced that it will begin selling the Wi-Fi PlayBook, and it also has plans to sell a 4G WiMAX version of the tablet this summer.  More →

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New UAE smartphone rules will affect others as well, RIM says

By on April 18, 2011 at 11:22 AM.

New UAE smartphone rules will affect others as well, RIM says

The United Arab Emirates’ Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) on Saturday stated its intentions to limit the access its citizens have to RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Servers. RIM said on Sunday, however, that new regulations in the UAE will impact all smartphones and not just BackBerry devices. “The TRA has confirmed to RIM that any potential policy regarding enterprise services in the UAE would be an industry-wide policy applying equally to all enterprise solution providers,” RIM said in a statement. This is clearly a touchy subject for RIM. The secure smartphone maker has been at war for years with officials in India demanding access to corporate emails sent and received with its devices, and now the fight has spilled over into other countries. RIM insists that other companies are impacted by these regulations as well, however, and Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis recently stormed out of an interview when pressed on the subject. Of course India’s regulations are affecting other companies, but RIM gets the most media attention because its devices have touted security so much since their introduction, and because RIM is the only company so far that said it cannot grant India the access it needs. More →

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UAE and RIM resolve differences, BlackBerry service to continue after October 11

By on October 8, 2010 at 9:44 AM.

UAE and RIM resolve differences, BlackBerry service to continue after October 11

Reuters is reporting that the United Arab Emirates and BlackBarry manufacturer Research In Motion have resolved differences that could have potentially left 500,000 BlackBerry subscribers without data services after October 11. “The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has confirmed that Blackberry services are now compliant with the UAE’s telecommunications regulatory framework,” reported WAM, a state run news agency. “All Blackberry services in the UAE will continue to operate as normal and no suspension of service will occur on October 11, 2010,” the news outlet continued. The UAE had threatened to shutter BlackBerry data services due to their inability to access RIM servers through legal means if necessary; BlackBerry data was handled by servers outside of the UAE which created a security and sovereignty nightmare for the Arab state. The WAM report also gave kudos to Research In Motion, citing “positive engagement” and professional “collaboration” from the Canadian company. More →

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Bloomberg: Saudi Arabia, RIM close to a deal

By on August 10, 2010 at 11:50 AM.

Bloomberg: Saudi Arabia, RIM close to a deal

There is a bit of a soap opera going on in the Middle East between Canadian handset manufacturer Research In Motion and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The synopsis of the situation goes like this:

Today, Bloomberg is reporting that Saudi Arabia is allowing RIM, and wireless providers, to continue providing BlackBerry messaging services to customers and has not communicated another deadline for compliance. As the article reads, “the fact that there is no new deadline indicates they are close to a solution.” The Communications and Information Technology Commission, the country’s telecommunication regulator, has said it wants a system in place that will allow it to monitor BlackBerry communications in order to prevent terrorism and ensure national security. The report says that Saudi Telecom Co. and the two other major wireless carriers are all testing systems that would “avert a threatened suspension of the messaging service.” More →

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RIM CEO: the Internet is encrypted, deal with it

By on August 5, 2010 at 6:48 AM.

RIM CEO: the Internet is encrypted, deal with it

If you haven’t been following the soap opera that is going on between the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and RIM let us fill you in. The UAE and KSA will halt BlackBerry data services beginning October 11th and August 5th respectively citing concerns over national security. For the most part, RIM has remained quiet noting the delicate and sensitive nature of talks at the state level. However, that all changed yesterday. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that RIM CEO Michael Lazaridis has released a statement saying, “This is about the Internet. Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can’t deal with the Internet, they should shut it off.” We’re assuming when Mr. Lazaridis says “everything on the Internet is encrypted” he is referring to SSL and the like. The BlackBerry maker CEO continued, “We have dealt with this before. This will get resolved. And it will get resolved if there is a chance for rational discussion.” We say good for RIM. What do you think? More →

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Washington Post: UAE BlackBerry data ban to be enforced on visitors/tourists as well

By on August 3, 2010 at 8:49 AM.

Washington Post: UAE BlackBerry data ban to be enforced on visitors/tourists as well

The Washington Post is reporting that the United Arab Emirates’ plan to enforce a BlackBerry data ban on its citizens will extend to tourists and visitors of the country as well. As the Post puts it, the governments security policies are, “in direct conflict with the country’s ambitions to be a business and tourism haven.” Beginning October 11th even those with Blackberrys issued outside of the UAE will be without email, messaging, and web capabilities while visiting the Middle Eastern nation (the handsets will still be able to make phone calls). Roughly one hundred thousand people travel in and out of the Dubai International Airport every day, many of them on business. The U.S. State Department called the policy, “a move in the wrong direction.” More →

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RIM: your BlackBerry data is secure, even from governments

By on August 2, 2010 at 5:30 PM.

RIM: your BlackBerry data is secure, even from governments

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has issued a statement to its customers letting them know just how secure their data is. The handset maker reminded everyone that “no one, including RIM” could access BlackBerry user data as it is encrypted without a master key, and that it would “be unable to accommodate any request” for access to the data. RIM continued, the system is designed “to exclude the capability for RIM or any third party to read encrypted information under any circumstances.” The statement comes on the heels of this weekend’s decision by the United Arab Emirates to suspend BlackBerry data services in the country due to reasons related to national security. RIM has not released an official statement regarding talks with the UAE citing the confidentiality of discussions at the government level. More →

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BlackBerry services to be suspended in the UAE starting October 11th

By on August 1, 2010 at 9:34 AM.

BlackBerry services to be suspended in the UAE starting October 11th

Apparently unable to work out a solution to get BlackBerry devices “compliant” with the UAE, the country has stated that it will disable BlackBerry services on October 11th. The Director of the Telecommunication Regulation Authority had this to say:

“With no solution available and in the public interest, in order to affect resolution of this issue, as of October 11, 2010, Blackberry Messenger, Blackberry Email and Blackberry Web-browsing services will be suspended until an acceptable solution can be developed and applied.”

All United Arab Emirate carriers are set to comply with the decision. There is also no timetable for a “compliant solution” to be integrated. We’d love to be on the internal RIM email chain this morning…

Thanks, to everyone who sent this over!

Update: We have heard Saudi Arabia is also blocking BlackBerry data services, but unlike the UAE, it is being suspended as of today. Can anyone confirm?

Update 2: Saudi Arabia has started blocking BlackBerry Messenger at this time, but not email, web browsing, or other data services. More →

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AP: UAE calls BlackBerrys a "security threat"

By on July 26, 2010 at 11:02 AM.

AP: UAE calls BlackBerrys a "security threat"

The AP is reporting that the United Arab Emirates has declared BlackBerry smartphones a national security risk. UAE government officials commented saying the handsets “operate beyond the jurisdiction of national laws and are open to misuse. [...] As a result of how Blackberry data is managed and stored, in their current form, certain Blackberry applications allow people to misuse the service, causing serious social, judicial and national security repercussions.” The State is referring to the relaying of data — for compression and optimization — through RIM’s BlackBerry infrastructure data centers. RIM has not released an official comment, and members of the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority have said no decisions about the handsets future in the UAE have been made.

Thanks, Mitch. More →

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