US objects to UAE's BlackBerry ban; RIM reassures users
The United States opposes the United Arab Emirates' decision to ban some Blackberry services because it undermines the free flow of information, the US State Department said Monday, dpa reported.
BlackBerry maker RIM meanwhile issued a statement reassuring customers that it would "not compromise the integrity and security of the Blackberry."
The statement followed the announcement by the UAE Sunday that messaging and internet browsing services would be restricted in a ban that goes into effect in October, saying that data being transferred and managed by a foreign entity poses security concerns.
State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said while the UAE has security needs, cutting off the services harms the free flow of information and eliminates an innovative sector of the economy.
"Restricting technologies in the 21st century we think is a move in the wrong direction," he said, adding that the United States is "disappointed at the announcement."
RIM's statement to BlackBerry owners did not directly address the UAE's position. But it stated that the network was designed up so that "no one, including RIM, could access" customer data, and "to exclude the capability for RIM or any third party, to read encrypted information under any circumstances."