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United Arab Emirates Optimistic Of RIM Agreement

September 27, 2010

A top Abu Dhabi official said that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is “very optimistic” about reaching an agreement with Research in Motion (RIM) over security before an official deadline.

The UAE has threatened to suspend RIM’s BlackBerry services from October 11 until the government could gain access to encrypted messages.

“We are very optimistic about the outcome. We both are working very hard trying to resolve the issues… it’s going to be solved before the deadline,” Mohammed al-Bawardi, secretary general at Abu Dhabi’s executive council, told reporters on Sunday.

BlackBerry’s Messenger application, which features email and Web browser services, has spread rapidly in the Gulf Arab region.  However, the government fears the way the device sends encrypted data to offshore servers, leaving it unable to be tracked locally.

About 500,000 people use BlackBerry devices in the UAE.

According to government sources, Saudi Arabia, has reached a deal with RIM on access to its instant messaging service.

Other countries, including India, have expressed concerns that BlackBerry services could be used to stir political or social instability, and had threatened RIM with a ban if they were denied access to the encrypted data.

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