Put the BlackBerry Box Next to King Abdullah’s WoW Server

Published on August 6, 2010
by John Paczkowski

blackberry_squeezeIs there a ban on BlackBerry services in Saudi Arabia, or isn’t there?

Earlier this week the kingdom’s Communication and Information Technology Commission ordered a suspension of some BlackBerry services that was to begin today and continue until Research in Motion (RIMM) addressed the national security concerns it raised about lack of access to BlackBerry data. Yet after a temporary outage this morning, BlackBerry service appears to be operating normally, and customer service reps at some Saudi carriers say they haven’t yet been told that a ban would be implemented. “If there are any changes to the service, all the customers will get a text message alerting them of that, but as of now nothing has changed,” a Mobily rep told The Wall Street Journal.

So what’s going on? Obviously some last-minute talks among all the parties involved, evidently talks that may result in RIM locating a server inside Saudi Arabia that would allow authorities there to access encrypted BlackBerry communications. “We are testing technical solutions with RIM…servers to be more exact,” a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

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