Friday, August 6, 2010


This week's perspective from Bob Reid:

The United Arab Emirates has threatened to pull the plug on BlackBerry service, saying that messages sent and received on the ubiquitous devices go against U.A.E. “regulations,” because the encrypted messages are routed through a proprietary Research In Motion server located somewhere in the west. Most observers agree the real issue is the fact that RIM’s technology doesn’t permit the Emirates to monitor what their people are saying. But the geography involved is a pretty major market – both Dubai and Abu Dhabi are part of the U.A.E., and those are choice business destinations which hang in the balance. However, RIM is standing firm against U.A.E. demands to change their setup to allow for government snoopiness – consistent with the company’s stance against previous similar demands from Russia and China. "The BlackBerry enterprise solution was designed to preclude RIM, or any third party, from reading encrypted information under any circumstances ... This means that customers of the BlackBerry enterprise solution can maintain confidence in the integrity of the security architecture without fear of compromise,” RIM said in a statement. I thought this was brilliant. Not only does it gently say “pound sand” to the U.A.E., it also lets RIM tout the unique security of its messaging capabilities, compared to that of other competitors. Oddly enough, the Emirates government remains in discussion with RIM on the issue. Touchdown!

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