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Saturday, August 07, 2010

Saudis Reach Deal On BlackBerry, Avoiding Ban : NPR

Saudis Reach Deal On BlackBerry, Avoiding Ban : NPR


A Saudi customer is served in a mobile shop at a market in the capital Riyadh on Thursday.
text size A A A August 7, 2010
Saudi Arabia and the makers of the BlackBerry have reached a preliminary deal on granting access to users' data that will avert a ban on the phone's messenger service in the kingdom, Saudi officials said Saturday.

The agreement would likely involve placing a BlackBerry server inside Saudi Arabia to allow the government to monitor messages and allay official fears the service could be used for criminal purposes, the telecom regulatory officials said.

Bandar al-Mohammed, an official at the Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission, told The Associated Press that BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. has expressed its "intention ... to place a server inside Saudi Arabia."

That will guarantee the kingdom's ability to see communications and data exchanged on BlackBerry handsets, he said. Al-Mohammed said talks were ongoing and declined to provide more details pending an announcement, which he said was expected soon.

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