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BlackBerry conspiracy theories

BlackBerry conspiracy theories

What was the deal? Was there a deal? Samuel Potter has a few thoughts about why the BlackBerry ban may have disappeared.

October 10, 2010 4:25 by

In case you haven’t heard, the UAE’s much-publicised BlackBerry plan is off. As Emirates 24-7 reported, the government “cancelled its decision to stop Blackberry services from Monday and said the facility would continue as normal apparently after reaching agreement with the Canadian manufacturers.”

According to the TRA, which oversees such things, BlackBerry services are now compliant with the UAE’s regulatory framework.

But wait a second. I’m no tech expert, but didn’t Research In Motion say it was impossible to provide the levels of access the TRA was demanding? Or at least that they would refuse to provide encryption keys to any government? I can’t be the only one who’s a bit confused by all this. And suspicious, for that matter. What exactly is the nature of RIM’s “compliance”?

Here are a few of the conspiracy theories floating around:

1. Research In Motion called the UAE’s bluff. They offered no encryption keys, no new access, and no solutions. The UAE, realising it was on the brink of switching off one of the most important and popular tools in modern business, blinked first. They scrapped the ban, and the whole “compliance” announcement is a ruse to help them save face.

2. Similar to the above, only there was no game of chicken. RIM simply could not provide what the UAE asked for (it has said many times the access the UAE wanted was impossible to provide). The UAE actions, therefore, demonstrated either an inability to grasp the technical situation, or a belief that RIM was lying.

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  1. Chris Davidson on October 10, 2010 5:57 pm

    Option 1.

  2. Dismanirie on October 11, 2010 8:05 am

    This whole farce was because someone in the UAE regulator could not keep their mouth shut. Once it was in the public domain it became a game of chicken, and I’m inclined to think that arrogance and ignorance conspired to make fools of the regulator. Nice of RIM to be so discreet.

  3. Andrew on October 11, 2010 10:14 am

    2 and 5 – probably motivated by 4.

    I was in a couple of TRA offices in Abu Dhabi two days before the announced they were dropping the ban, and the employees were busily banging away on their Blackberries (both company and personal) using Messenger and receving emails. Speaks for itself.

  4. Zack on October 11, 2010 11:07 am

    No Guts… no glory… do you think that the TRA will go to all those who have BB and give them new phones… where will they get the money to do so… and why would RIM care about keeping the UAE business if its not up to there standards….
    Have you been to china lately? that is where i would focus my development energy and where I would want to expand my business if I were RIM.
    Like many other things in Dubai, the “Pretend de Grandeur” does get crashed form time to time, and this a good example of it. Its nice to be humble -:)

  5. Gwalachmai on October 11, 2010 10:54 pm

    Mostly 2. Nothing to see here.

  6. Mr. Sal on October 14, 2010 11:38 am

    samuel-potter, do you read the other news? or where do you live man?! lol

    Rim do give background holes to other agencies like CIA…. it is known, google it. (visit and search)
    Rim do give a solution for the governments.

    why your reports are anti-emirates, or is it the cat and mouse game!


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