Tag: united arab emirates

UAE: BBM Viral Link Sends BlackBerrys to Emergency Call

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Police in Abu Dhabi are investigating who is behind a BBM message that went viral and included a link which, upon clicking, would dial 999. The message circulated Monday evening and resulted in 13,338 calls in 5 hours. The damage done is probably fairly minimal, but it makes you wonder about the group behind the message, and their intent on disrupting emergency services with the use of BBM. A really successful viral campaign could disrupt emergency services at a crucial time when such services are needed. Hopefully it’s just a meaningless prank.

App World Now Available in 109 Countries Including United Arab Emirates

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app world

Most recently, the UAE joined the ranks of countries where App World is available. This is great news not only for BlackBerry users in that country, but also for bloggers and support forum moderators. BlackBerryCool alone gets one or two emails per week from someone in the UAE saying “why is BlackBerry App World not available in my country? Please fix this!”. It should be interesting to see what, if any, applications get banned from the UAE and what sort of restrictions are imposed on anyone who wants to distribute their app there. On a more optimistic note, perhaps we’ll see a surge in developers writing apps for UAE users and distributing them in App World.

Click through for a list of countries where App World is available.
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RIM Outlines 4 Main Principles of Lawful Access to BlackBerry Data

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blackberry in india

RIM has made an official announcement to customers saying it is cooperating with the Indian government as well as other governments during the recent string of complaints regarding access to information. RIM has said that it is cooperating with these governments “in the spirit of supporting legal and national security requirements, while also preserving the lawful needs of citizens and corporations.”

Following this statement, RIM has outlined four main principles that governments must follow if they are to work with RIM on access to private data:
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Why RIM Should Cut Its Losses in the United Arab Emirates Market

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The UAE has officially stated that as of October 11th, they will be cutting off BlackBerry services. The Telecom regulators have said that the fact that data is handled and stored offshore, outside of government control, makes BlackBerrys an unacceptable security risk.

For those who don’t know, the BlackBerry platform architecture relies on dedicated data centers (NOCs) which handle all BlackBerry data traffic over a secure, encrypted connection between the NOC and the handset. Some governments are uncomfortable with the solution because they have little or no visibility into BlackBerry data traffic, and are concerned that BlackBerry handsets may be used for criminal purposes.
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BlackBerry Services Disconnected in UAE as of October

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blackberry uae

We recently reported that the UAE has been making claims that BlackBerry poses a security risk, as the data sent from a BlackBerry leaves the country to be processed by RIM’s NOC. As of October, the UAE will be disconnecting BlackBerry services until a “solution” can be found. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority director Mohamed al-Ghanim says “With no solution available and in the public interest … Blackberry Messenger, Blackberry E-mail and Blackberry Web-browsing services will be suspended until an acceptable solution can be developed and applied”.

This trend may continue throughout several more Arab countries that are known to keep a close eye on their citizens. Saudie Arabia is said to be next in line to cancel services.

SMobile Systems release complete technical analysis of Etisalat update

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blackberry security shield

During the Etisalat controversy, one company that has been really helpful in determining exactly what is going on is SMobile Systems. They have sent me a technical analysis of the “upgrade” which I think the BlackBerry community would be interested in reading.
Click through for a technical analysis of the Etisalat software update