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:
- The Saudi government said it would shut-down BlackBerry messaging services beginning on August 5th. The closure was due to concerns over national security stating that RIM was not in compliance with local laws.
- The United Arab Emirates expressed similar concerns.
- On August 5th BlackBerry messaging services in Saudi Arabia were shut-down for a short period of time before being brought back up again.
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.”