Retailers in the UAE fear a drop in BlackBerry sales following an announcement made by the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority to suspend BlackBerry services in the country. Image Credit: Karen Dias/Gulf News

Washington: Yousuf Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States, has described the US State Department's comments on the UAE's announcement to suspend certain BlackBerry services from October 11 as "disappointing and contradict the US Government's own approach to telecommunications regulation".

"In fact, the UAE is exercising its sovereign rights and is asking for exactly the same regulatory compliance - and with the same principals of judicial and regulatory oversight - that BlackBerry grants the US and other governments and nothing more," he said.

Al Otaiba added by saying: "Importantly, the UAE requires compliance for the very same reasons as the US: to protect national security and to assist in law enforcement. It is regrettable that after several years of discussions, BlackBerry is still not compliant with UAE regulatory requirements even as it complies with similar policies in other countries."

US 'disappointed' at BlackBerry ban

The United States is "disappointed" at the decision by the UAE to halt key BlackBerry messaging services because of security concerns, the State Department said on Monday, reports AFP from Washington.

"We are disappointed at this announcement," State Department  spokesperson Crowley told reporters. "We will be clarifying with the UAE" the reasons for announcement.

"It sets a dangerous precedent," said Crowley.

The UAE said on Sunday that it will halt key BlackBerry services that breach laws and raise security concerns.

The suspension would start on October 11 and last until a legal solution was reached, the UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said in a statement.

The decision was taken "after failing to make progress in repeated attempts to make BlackBerry services compatible" with the Gulf state's legislation.

"Due to its technical nature, some BlackBerry services, like the messenger, email, and web browsing, remain beyond the implementation of local laws," the TRA said.



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