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Monday, October 11, 2010     GET REAL

UAE changes its tune on banning BlackBerry

ABU DHABI — The United Arab Emirates has reversed its decision to ban a leading Western cellular service.


The UAE said it has suspended its ban on BlackBerry, scheduled for Oct. 11, in wake of allegations that the encrypted cellular phone could be employed by insurgents. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has determined that BlackBerry became compliant with UAE regulations.

"BlackBerry services will carry on as usual and will not be suspended on Oct. 11," TRA said.

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In a statement on Oct. 8, TRA did not specify modifications to BlackBerry. The authority cited cooperation by the manufacturer, Research In Motion, to reach compliance.

BlackBerry, with its server in Canada, has about 500,000 users in the UAE. Officials said the United States had raised the ban of BlackBerry with Abu Dhabi.

The Canadian company has also been threatened with a ban in India and Saudi Arabia. But Riyad, with 700,000 subscribers, also rescinded a proposed ban.

"RIM cannot discuss the details of confidential regulatory matters that occur in specific countries, but RIM confirms that it continues to approach lawful access matters internationally within the framework of core principles," RIM said.

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