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UAE, Blackberry may soon resolve spat -diplomats

UAE deal may not be the same as with other countries.

August 18, 2010 8:55 by



Talks between the United Arab Emirates and Canada’s Research In Motion (RIM) may soon resolve a spat over BlackBerry security, two UAE diplomats said on Tuesday.

The UAE, where RIM has 500,000 users, has said it would suspend BlackBerry Messenger, email and Web browser services from Oct. 11 until the government could get access to encrypted messages.

“Talks are progressing well and hopefully we will be able to reach a conclusion in the near future,” Yousef Al Otaiba, the Gulf state’s ambassador to the United States, told reporters after a meeting of UAE ambassadors gathered in Abu Dhabi.

Asked whether the UAE could secure a deal similar to what Saudi Arabia got from RIM, Otaiba said each country has its own requirements and regulatory frameworks.

“We may not get the same deal as others,” he said.

“Talks are going on and we are hopeful of a quick solution,” said another UAE diplomat, asking not to be named.

RIM has agreed to hand over user codes that would let Saudi authorities monitor its BlackBerry Messenger, as it seeks to stop the kingdom from silencing the service, a source close to the talks said last week.

India, which has also threatened to block some BlackBerry services over security worries, has formally asked mobile operators to ensure a monitoring system for the smartphone’s services by Aug. 31.

India is the latest country to step up pressure on RIM, which has built the BlackBerry’s reputation around confidentiality.

RIM has assured India of limited access to BlackBerry instant messages by Sept. 1, and promised talks this week on monitoring its more secure corporate email, an Indian government source said on Monday.

(Reporting by Stanley Carvalho; editing by Firouz Sedarat and Hans Peters)



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