UAE And Saudi Arabia To Block BlackBerry Services

BlackBerry users have been barred from accessing a number of services in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, The Telegraph has reported.

The ban, commencing 11 October, will prevent users from e-mail, internet browsing and instant messaging services on the smartphone, manufactured by Research In Motion (RIM), citing national security concerns.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the UAE has stated: "Today's decision is based on the fact that, in their current form, certain BlackBerry services allow users to act without any legal accountability, causing judicial, social and national security concerns for the UAE."

Activists across the region have blamed regulating authorities of forcing censorship on using phones, following the censoring of a number of websites.

Head of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority Mohammed al-Ghanem has said that the action is not about censorship, but regulatory compliance.

"We are not asking for RIM to do anything that is not apparently being done in developed nations or so-called open countries around the world," he said.