The author of “City of Gold” a history of Dubai, Jim Krane said, “The U.A.E. has never been a place that offered much in the way of electronic privacy. “The government makes no secret that it monitors electronic communication, including text messages, phone calls and e-mail. The revelation that secure BlackBerry data is frustratingly out of the government’s reach only confirms this.”
This is definitely some PMC 2.0 news, just because many contractors carry BlackBerry smart phones, and many companies have management teams that depend upon this phone. So imagine all these guys having to give up those phones just to do business in the middle east?
One interesting tidbit with all of this is that these countries really don’t have a problem with iPhones, just because they can easily monitor the traffic on those devices. That is good and bad for contractors that have iPhones. It kind of confirms what the best phone is for privacy–the BlackBerry. Although there are still ways to make iPhones secure, it’s just with this crackdown on ‘CrackBerry’s’, it seems that the BlackBerry is the winner.
Below, I posted three articles. The last one is from 2005, but still a good one on how PIN messaging works for BlackBerry phones. The other articles detail what fears the various middle eastern countries have in regards to the BlackBerry. Interesting stuff. -Matt
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — The United Arab Emirates’ crackdown on BlackBerry services will extend to foreign visitors, putting the government’s concerns over the smartphones in direct conflict with the country’s ambitions to be a business and tourism haven.
The UAE’s telecommunications regulator said Monday that travelers to the city-state of Dubai and the important oil industry center of Abu Dhabi will — like 500,000 local subscribers — have to do without BlackBerry e-mail, messaging and Web services starting Oct. 11, even when they carry phones issued in other countries. The handsets themselves will still be allowed for phone calls.
UAE authorities say the move is based on security concerns because BlackBerry transmissions are automatically routed to company computers abroad, where it is difficult for local authorities to monitor for illegal activity or abuse.
Critics of the crackdown say it is also a way for the country’s conservative government to further control content it deems politically or morally objectionable.