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RIM CTO: Governments rely too much on BlackBerry to ban it

UAE threatened to ban certain BlackBerry services unless RIM gave its government access to BlackBerry messages.


August 4, 2010 8:48 by

Governments may have trouble carrying out threats to ban BlackBerry services as they depend on the devices so much themselves, a top executive for Research In Motion said on Tuesday.

David Yach, RIM’s chief technology officer, was speaking at the launch of the company’s latest BlackBerry smartphone days after the United Arab Emirates threatened to ban certain BlackBerry services unless RIM gave its government access to BlackBerry messages.

Yach declined comment on RIM’s dealings with specific countries related to security issues, in an interview on the sidelines of the phone launch.

“I believe they’ll have trouble pulling the trigger to shut down BlackBerry,” Yach said. “Most governments in the world rely on BlackBerry.”

The executive said RIM will “stick to its guns” on promises it made to customers about security while still cooperating with governments. Part of cooperating with governments includes educating them on security, he said.

Yach said that while RIM cannot provide governments with access to corporate customers’ emails, which go through RIM’s own server computers, it could suggest they go to corporations directly with lawful intercept authorization to look at BlackBerry users’ emails.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew, Bobbi Rebell and Matthew Lynley; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)


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