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UAE says BlackBerry dispute resolved before deadline

BlackBerry services compliant with regulations, UAE says.

October 8, 2010 9:08 by

The United Arab Emirates will not suspend BlackBerry services on Oct. 11 after resolving a dispute with its Canadian maker Research in Motion over access to email and other data, state news WAM agency said on Friday.

The UAE had said it would suspend BlackBerry Messenger, email and web browser services to about 500,000 subscribers from Oct. 11 unless Canadian BlackBerry maker RIM works out a way to locate encrypted servers in the country, so that the government can seek access to messages.

“The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has confirmed that Blackberry services are now compliant with the UAE’s telecommunications regulatory framework,” a statement on WAM said.

“Therefore all Blackberry services in the UAE will continue to operate as normal and no suspension of service will occur on October 11, 2010,” it said.

Saudi Arabia and India also threatened to cut off services but have reached an agreement with RIM, and an UAE official said in September the country was “very optimistic” about reaching a deal before the Oct. 11 deadline.

Before the dispute, Information sent to and from BlackBerries had been encrypted and handled by servers outside the UAE.

The UAE had voiced concerns over its inability to access the information through legal means, citing security and sovereignty issues, and had emphasised it was not able to reach a deal since new telecoms regulations took effect three years ago.

WAM gave no details on the agreement reached.

“The TRA also acknowledged ‘the positive engagement and collaboration of Research In Motion (RIM) in reaching this regulatory compliant outcome’,” it said.

(Reporting by Andrew Hammond and Raissa Kasolowsky, Writing by Andrew Hammond)

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