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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

No plan to block BlackBerry services in Oman

Press Trust of India / Dubai August 10, 2010, 16:12 IST

Oman has said it does not plan to block BlackBerry services even as Saudi Arabia is working with the device maker RIM on a solution that
could avert a ban of some services.

Oman's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority said in a statement that offering the services was part of its "philosophy of free market in the sector".

Kuwait and Bahrain said earlier that they do not consider imposing ban on BlacBerry services.

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion and Saudi mobile firms were testing three servers to send communications and data through Saudi Arabia before Canada to address Riyadh's concerns over security.

The Saudi regulator has said it will cut the BlackBerry's Messenger function for some 700,000 users in the kingdom.

The Canadian manufacturer RIM has come under scrutiny from other countries, including India, Lebanon and Algeria, regarding access to its encrypted network which governments want monitored to avert possible threats to national security.

BlackBerry mobile device sends an encrypted email to a BlackBerry enterprise server located with the service provider. The server decrypts the messages and sends it to the email server of the service provider where it remains stored in a decrypted form before being pushed to the BlackBerry device in an encrypted form.

Meanwhile, local media reports from Saudi Arabia said BlackBerry messenger was still functioning on Monday after a deadline expired for telecoms firms to find a solution allowing authorities to monitor the service.

Many users in Jeddah said the service was working without interruption, but no official announcement on an agreement to allow government monitoring has been made.

The Saudi telecom sector watchdog had postponed a suspension, that was due to come into force on Friday, until Monday evening, allowing time to test suggested technical solutions giving authorities access to BlackBerry’s encrypted data.

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