“They tried to sneak it in, and got caught,” said Theodore Karasik, director of research and development at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis in Dubai of UAE’s past attempts to hack the BlackBerry as part of a broad campaign to improve intelligence. “Now they’re going the opposite way, just declaring what they need.”
Dubai, the UAE’s largest city, is a case study in the need for such surveillance. In the same way that Vienna served as a waypoint for rogues from all sides of the world wars, this desert city has now become a den of intrigue about the Middle East and South Asia. According to local analysis the Arab states are only demanding the same surveillance capacity thought to be already available to several other countries, suh as Russia, China and the United States.
Some described the issue as a matter of national pride for the United Arab Emirates.
“RIM succumbed to so many other countries, so why not ours?” said Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a politics professor at Emirates University. “It’s about double standards. We’re a booming economy, an important market, and the Canadians should respect us.”
From The Globe and Mail
Posts tagged “Blackberry”
In his essay in the Globe and Mail Professor Deibert provides illuminating insight questions related to the use and abuse of cyberspace, as well as Canada’s role in the constantly evolving space of global communications.
Citizen Lab Director Professor Deibert has been interviewed by multiple international news agencies on the recent controversy surrounding BlackBerry services in the United Arab Emirates.
The following news sources feature Professor Deibert’s comments on the matter. He specifically comments on how the restrictions made by the United Arab Emirates are related to broader governmental fears of cyber security which exist internationally.
Citizen Lab media commentary can be found HERE.
“RIM has built a $15-billion (U.S.) business by pitching the BlackBerry as the world’s most secure wireless communication device, but is now under mounting pressure to maintain that reputation in the face of demands by some governments for easier access to data. On Wednesday Indonesia joined a growing group of countries who want the device maker to give governments easier access to private messages.
Ronald Deibert, who runs a global Internet research lab at the University of Toronto, says a researcher based in the United Arab Emirates recently noticed Web searches made on BlackBerry devices are censored. He maintainted that it is likely one of many compromises RIM has made for operating in countries where regimes restrict or monitor the flow of information to monitor dissidents, opposition politicians and human rights advocates.”
From Globe Investor
“Research In Motion Ltd., maker of the BlackBerry smart phone, faces increasing challenges to its overseas expansion as developing countries tighten restrictions on mobile e-mail.
‘It’s a reflection of fears of cyber-security and espionage that now extend to mobile phones,’ said Ron Deibert, director of the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, who helped colleagues uncover a plot against the Indian government that involved computers in China. ‘It’s the type of thing that will become more common for RIM as they grapple with public policy and ethical issues in emerging markets.'”
“The UAE’s BlackBerry ban drew condemnation from freedom monitors and the US government, but nothing from Canada, BlackBerry’s home country.
“I think this is a glaring absence and it’s part of a lamentable lack of attention this government has given to cyberspace,” says Ronald Deibert, director of The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs.”
“The type of steps taken by the UAE are going to become more common in the future as governments struggle to gain control of cyberspace for national security reasons,” said Ronald Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs.
“Just like Google has had to grapple with the pressures of China and other countries who censor search engines, RIM will find itself the centre of pressures from governments eager to tap encrypted mobile data streams.”
From The Globe and Mail
“Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry smartphones may be subject to monitoring in the United Arab Emirates if the government is able to bring communications by the handheld devices under emergency and security rules.
Blackberry devices, introduced in the U.A.E. in 2006, are not covered by the country’s 2007 Safety, Emergency and National Security rules, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.”
RIYADH — Makers of the popular BlackBerry smartphones said on Saturday they are looking into Saudi press reports that regulators in the conservative Muslim kingdom want to control its popular messenger service.
The Saudi Communication and Internet Technology Commission (CITC) has reportedly contacted Canada’s Research in Motion Ltd (RIM) seeking to have access to and monitor communications by BlackBerry Messenger, known as BBM.