BlackBerry poses ‘security threat’ in UAE

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UAE telecoms regulator describes BlackBerry as “national security threat” by exporting and handling data offshore

The UAE could move to restrict or impose stricter monitoring of BlackBerry devices and applications after the area’s telecommunications regulator said the technology poses a national security risk.

The Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) said BlackBerry devices were introduced to the UAE in 2006 before the introduction of the Safety, Emergency and National Security legislation in 2007 which regulates the use of BlackBerry applications in the UAE.

As such, TRA said Blackberry currently operates outside the jurisdiction of national legislation and is the only device operating in the UAE that immediately exports data offshore and is managed by a foreign, commercial organisation.

The TRA statement reads: “As a result of how BlackBerry data is managed and stored, in their current form, certain BlackBerry applications allow people to misuse the service, causing serious social, judicial and national security repercussions.

“Like many other countries, we have been working for a long time to resolve these critical issues, with the objective of finding a solution that safeguards our consumers and operates within the boundaries of UAE law.”

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