Last week, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia announced their plans for an imminent blockade of some BlackBerry functions if BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion doesn’t make it possible for the government to keep encrypted communication under surveillance.
RIM responded by saying that third-party access to its servers (where the encrypted data is sent) was impossible, but that they are currently in negotiations with both governments on whether something can be done to satisfy both parties and allow the countries’ BlackBerry users to use their devices as they were meant to be used.
Reuters reports that the planned Saudi Arabia shutdown of Blackberry’s Messenger that was meant to be executed on Friday has been postponed until midnight today, because RIM and Saudi’s three mobile carriers are working on setting up three servers that will send encrypted data through Saudi Arabia before sending it to the servers in Canada and the U.K.
This new development has raised a lot of questions about RIM’s agreements with other world governments and whether it allows them to access the data in question, but RIM says that it will not disclose details of the discussions that go on between the company and any country.
Several other countries such as Lebanon, Algeria and India have brought up the issue of being able to monitor this kind of communication in order to detect and prevent threats to national security.