1. cube11's Avatar
    By NINIEK KARMINI (AP) 1 hour ago

    JAKARTA, Indonesia Indonesia said Wednesday it is considering following the lead of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in banning BlackBerry services, adding to pressure on device maker Research in Motion Ltd. to give governments greater access to data.

    Gatot Dewabroto, spokesman for the Ministry of Communication and Information, wants RIM to set up a server locally so encrypted information sent by the phones will not have to be routed through the Canadian company's overseas computers.

    "We don't know whether data being sent through BlackBerrys can be intercepted or read by third parties outside the country," he said, expressing concern that information could be used by criminals or spies.

    The announcement came hours after Saudi Arabia said its telecom regulator had ordered mobile operators across the kingdom to halt BlackBerry services as of Friday.

    The United Arab Emirates, too, plans to shut down e-mail, messaging and Web browsing on BlackBerrys starting in October.

    India is in talks with RIM over how information is managed on the devices.

    Analysts say RIM's expansion into fast-growing emerging markets is threatening to set off a wave of regulatory challenges, as the device maker's commitment to keep corporate e-mails secure rubs up against the desires of local law enforcement.

    RIM has said discussions with the more than 175 countries where it operates are private. It does offer help to governments, but says its technology does not allow it, or any third party, to read encrypted e-mails sent by corporate BlackBerry users. (The consumer version has a lower level of security.)

    The e-mails are, however, unencrypted on the servers of corporate clients, and can be obtained from the companies.

    Satchit Gayakwad, an RIM spokesman in India, denied there were plans to give the government greater control over surveillance of its corporate clients.

    "We won't compromise on the security architecture of our corporate e-mails," he said. "We respect the requirements of regulatory bodies in terms of security, but we also look at the customer's need for privacy."

    Dewabroto said Indonesia, one of the largest providers of Blackberry services in Southeast Asia with more than 1 million users, is still just mulling a ban.

    But it wouldn't be the first time it has taken on the device maker: Service was blocked in 2008 until RIM agreed to set up sales service centers for users inside the country.

    A Saudi security official told AP that security authorities are concerned about being unable to track down the exchange of messages using BlackBerry messenger.

    "This service might be used to serve terrorism," the official said.

    BlackBerry phones are known to be popular both among businesspeople and youth in the kingdom who see the phones' relatively secure communication features as a way to avoid attention from the authorities.

    Several other countries have expressed desire for more control over BlackBerry messaging, including Bahrain, which has threatened to crack down on news dissemination using the devices.

    AP Business Writers Adam Schreck and Erika Kinetz in Dubai; Joe McDonald in Beijing and Abdullah al-Shihri in Riyadh contributed to this report. Kinetz reported from Mumbai, India.

    Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
    08-04-10 12:28 PM
  2. hotgeekness's Avatar
    Nice chain reaction. Will be interesting to see how this ends. Time will tell...
    08-04-10 02:39 PM
  3. Ghostnyc's Avatar
    Its funny that these countries are banning blackberrys because the security is TOO good. They want to spy on their citizens at will.

    I wonder what will government officials use to communicate? Because what is stopping the citizens from spying on the government?

    Hopefully no high ranking official using an iPhone decides to open a PDF file.
    08-04-10 02:50 PM
  4. pkcable's Avatar
    While I don't agree with that the Goverments are doing, it IS there right to do it. I'm hopeful that RIM and these Gov'ts can't find a solution that will allow their citizen's to use BlackBerrys. It seems that this is already begining to happen as it IS in everyone's interest. As HG just said time will tell.
    08-04-10 02:50 PM
  5. Ghostnyc's Avatar
    While I don't agree with that the Goverments are doing, it IS there right to do it. I'm hopeful that RIM and these Gov'ts can't find a solution that will allow their citizen's to use BlackBerrys. It seems that this is already begining to happen as it IS in everyone's interest. As HG just said time will tell.
    Ideally we would all hope for situation where technology can enrich the lives of people around the world, but realize the goal of the people controlling these nations is power and control through fear and manipulation. For any citizen to have privacy and secure communication is a dangerous thing for these gov'ts to allow.

    If you recall the recent elections of Iran and the subsequent protests that took over the country. Ahmadinejad and The Shah's shut down all news, all communication into and out of the country. If it weren't for the Iranian people who risked great harm using social media services like twitter/facebook and tapping into wifi services no one outside Iran would have known anything.

    Also consider the problems Google has encountered with China over censoring information for their citizens. We are viewing this from a Blackberry vs iPhone vs Android perspective being the crackberry fans we are. The reality for the people of these nations is far more serious than a simple preference of mobile device.
    08-04-10 03:01 PM
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