Saudi Government Shuts Down Blackberry Services

Blackberry logoAs reported earlier, the government of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as per their announcement today shut down BlackBerry messaging service effective immediately. All three of the carriers in Saudi Arabia have blocked the BlackBerry messaging service due to the issues which had a dispute raised between the Saudi government and the BlackBerry administration about access to private and encrypted information of BlackBerry users.

The official statement from the Saudi government read that, “the manufacturer of the devices [RIM] couldn’t meet the regulatory requirements of the commission and it is not in accordance with the regulations and conditions of licenses issued to service providers, at its present state.” Also it is being reported by various sources that any wireless carriers operating in Saudi Arabia if violate this decision will face a fine of up to US $1.3 billion for not following government orders. Although the messaging services of BlackBerry are blocked, users of Research In Motion’s devices can still make and receive calls and get data traffic on their devices.

The decision follows in line with the heated situation between several Middle Eastern countries and Research In Motion over access to sensitive user information. This has also led to BlackBerry services being barred in other parts of Middle East in subsequent months.


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