United Arab Emirates announced that beginning in October it will block BlackBerry services due to security concerns. Saudi Arabia quickly followed suit. Turns out the underlying encrypted data system is too difficult for the government to monitor communications.
Other smartphones forward data
over the open Internet and can be easily monitored. BlackBerry data is routed through a closed,
global network operated by its owning company, Research in Motion. To enforce the ban, the
carriers will stop forwarding BlackBerry data.
Other Persian gulf states, including Bahrain, and Kuwait are considering following similar legislation.
Interestingly, this same security concern may have delayed launch of BlackBerry service in China in 2006. It is
unclear what actions the company took, if any, to alleviate those concerns.