RIM Faces Limits In The UAE

Sucks to be RIM. The Globe And Mail is reporting that effective May 1st, Blackberry users in the UAE are facing significant restrictions:

Under the new policies, Du and its rival Etisalat — both majority owned by the government — are required to limit access to the BlackBerry Enterprise Server to companies with 20 user accounts or more. That system provides the most secure communication on the handheld devices and is used by many international companies and government agencies.

Other users would need to rely on a less-secure system known as the BlackBerry Internet Service that experts say could be easier for authorities to monitor. Unlike the more secure BES system, which routes encrypted data through company servers abroad, the BIS system runs over the regular Internet.

So Blackberries aren’t banned, but the fact that they’ve restricted how they can be used. In my mind, this is the thin edge of the wedge. Expect more to come in the near future in the form of snooping on BIS traffic. From there, who knows? But I guarantee it won’t end here.

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