Designed by Canada-based Research In Motion, BlackBerrys are a popular choice of cell phone among many business people. However, approximately 700,000 Saudi Arabian BlackBerry owners are being forced to look to other cell phone makers for mobile solutions as the country is banning RIM devices.
Citing regulatory requirements, the Saudi Arabian Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) yesterday requested that all telecommunications companies stop providing service for BlackBerrys by Friday.
The news follows a similar announcement from the United Arab Emirates', which saw the country pledge to block email, IM, and Web browsing on BlackBerrys devices starting October 11 if it fails to reach an agreement with RIM regarding the company's encryption practices. According to CNet, UAE has complained that RIM's strict encryption between its hardware and servers violates UAE regulations and prevents it from monitoring data in the name of national security.
Responding to the UAE, RIM said it is unable "accommodate any request for a copy of a customer's encryption key since at no time does RIM, or any wireless network operator, ever possess a copy of the key."