UAE, Saudi Arabia Block Blackberry Usage

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The United Arab Emirates has pulled the plug on BlackBerrys.

The government plans to block e-mail, messaging and web browsing on the popular devices. It calls the BlackBerry, a 'security threat,' because data can be transmitted without being monitored for illegal activity.

"Certain BlackBerry services allow users to act without any legal accountability, causing judicial, social and national security concerns," the United Arab Emirates' Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said in a statement.

There is a similar move in Saudi Arabia to ban the BlackBerry. The blocks to the devices raise questions about whether the Muslim nations are trying to gain even more control over content they deem objectionable.

"About 80 percent of Saudi-based BlackBerry users are individual users and 20 percent are enterprises, while these ratios are basically reversed in developing nations," said one industry source.

In the two Muslim nations, government censors already block access to websites that violate Islamic values.

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