Update: BREAKING: BlackBerry’s RIM Bowes, Sources: An Agreement With the Saudi Arabia and UAE Will Be Announced Shortly

7 Aug, 2010

Updated: ArabCrunch sources who are close to the 3 telecom operators in Saudi Arabia confirmed just now the deal has been made between RIM and Saudi Arabia, BlackBerry service to continue in the kingdom. Official Announcement most likely tomorrow, UAE to follow.

Yesterday, Saudi Arabia’s BlackBerry (BB) ban went into effect, but users reported that the device services are still up and running. While UAE’s BB ban will take effect next October.

ArabCrunch sources close to Saudi Arabia 3 mobile operators told us the deal has been reached between RIM the mother company of BlackBerry and authorities in both Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, the deal will allow BlackBerry services to continue in both countries while giving authorities some hand in “monitoring.”

AC’s sources said that RIM will continue to claim “no access” is provided and the key issue  for RIM was in giving access to authorities in these countries without a court order. AC sources added that today or tomorrow an official announcement will be made.

Today Alrabiyia news station along with others reported that Saudi Arabia Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) and 3 mobile operators in the kingdom: STC, Mobily and Zain has reached an agreement with RIM the mother company of BlackBerry, where content being transformed across BB devices can be monitored by the local authorities.

Saudi arabia, UAE and India has expressed before security concerns about BlackBerry services namely its encrypted email service. India said that BlackBerry was used in the last year in bombay attacks by the prepeptuaters.

Alarabiya said that local servers installed by RIM is being tested in Saudi Arabia, there are around 700,000 BB users in Saudi Arabia. Our sources however could not confirm that but said “certain setup will be made.”

We have contacted RIM before but they said they have nothing to say and we will contact them now for more information.

At her end US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recognized there is a “right to free use and access” that could be infringed by countries banning BlackBerrys. “We are taking time to consult and analyse the full the range of interests and issues at stake, because we know that there is a legitimate security concern,”

Her government has a semi-secret government contractor that calls itself Project Vigilant which monitors the traffic of 12 regional Internet service providers and hands much of that information to federal agencies.

At ArabCrunch we were vigilant of Clinton’s Internet “freedom speech” on January this year where she cited China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt among countries that censored the Internet or harassed bloggers!, she said  “We stand for a single Internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas,” At the same day her government ordered sourceforge to deny free open source to around 120 million human beings in Syria, Sudan, Iran, N. Korea & Cuba, a direct contradiction to the open source philosophy of No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups and No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor.

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