Saudi Arabia lifts BlackBerry Messenger ban

10 Aug 2010

Following what it says is the fulfillment of some of its ‘regulatory requirements’ Saudi Arabia’s telecommunications regulator today said that it would allow the BlackBerry messenger services to continue.

Saudi Arabia’s Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) said in an email statement that it has “decided to allow the continuation of BlackBerry messenger services” while it “continues to work with service providers to complete the remainder of the regulatory requirements”.

This decision to continue the BlackBerry services follows last week’s event where the kingdom of Saudi Arabia was ready to ban the BlackBerry because of the Messenger service operating within RIM’s encrypted secure network. RIM was ordered to block certain services from 6 August onward or face a US$1.3m fine.

RIM has not officially come out and talked about a specific deal with Saudi Arabia but it is thought that the deal might involve the data going through a local server that Saudi authorities will have access to rather than straight through Canadian servers where RIM is headquartered.

While the service continues it is not certain how BlackBerry data will be treated by Saudi authorities but RIM has previously said that all of its data will remain encrypted.