BlackBerry maker RIM, UAE reach deal

A woman walks past a BlackBerry smartphone advertisement in Dubai.

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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: BlackBerry customers in the United Arab Emirates have been at risk of seeing their service cut off. The UAE said the device's encryption technology could jeopardize national security.

But as the BBC's Rebecca Singer reports, there's been a deal between the UAE and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion.


REPORTER: The UAE wanted to be able to monitor the information being sent by Blackberry users. And the government has been threatening to cut off e-mail and instant messaging beginning on Monday. That would have seriously inconvenienced BlackBerry's half-a-million local users as well as the country's reputation as a business hub in the Middle East.

Fevzi Turkalp is editor of GadgetDetective.com. He says even though a deal has now been struck, both sides will want to keep the details as quiet as possible, especially the UAE.

FEVZI TURKALP: The more information that's in the public domain about what they can do and what they can't do by way of monitoring these messages, the more power that gives to the people that they're trying to monitor. They want those people to kept in the dark about exactly what they can do and how.

But while RIM may have agreed to hand over some of its paying customers information, Turkalp says it's unlikely the company would have given into all of the UAE's demands. And despite this high profile deal, Blackberry users still conside it to be one of the most secure networks around.

In London, I'm the BBC's Rebecca Singer for Marketplace.

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