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UAE sees BlackBerry Issue Solved before Deadline - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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ABU DHABI (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates is “very optimistic” about reaching an agreement in a dispute with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion before an official deadline, a top Abu Dhabi official said.

The UAE has threatened to suspend Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Messenger, email and Web browser services from October 11 until the government could get access to encrypted messages.

“We are very optimistic about the outcome. We both are working very hard trying to resolve the issues….it’s going to be solved before the deadline,” Mohammed al-Bawardi, secretary general at Abu Dhabi’s executive council, told reporters on Sunday.

BlackBerry’s Messenger application has spread rapidly in the Gulf Arab region but because the data is encrypted and sent to offshore servers, it cannot be tracked locally.

There are some 500,000 BlackBerry users in the UAE.

Another Gulf Arab state, Saudi Arabia, concerned over services such as online pornography, has reached a deal with RIM on access to the BlackBerry Messenger instant messaging service, a consumer product that operates outside of the secure corporate domain, according to government sources.

Several countries, including India, had expressed concerns that BlackBerry services could be used to stir political or social instability, and had threatened RIM with a ban if they were denied access to data.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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