Government Makes Another Stride Forward!

From Yahoo:

“DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates outlined plans Sunday to block BlackBerry e-mail, messaging and Web browsing services in a crackdown that could jeopardize efforts to establish the country as an international business hub. The government cited a potential security threat because encrypted data sent on the devices is moved abroad, where it cannot be monitored for illegal activity. But the decision — quickly followed by a similar move in Saudi Arabia — raises questions about whether the conservative Gulf nations are trying to further control content they deem politically or morally objectionable.”


9 thoughts on “Government Makes Another Stride Forward!

  1. It’s difficult for backward, irrational people to be something else. This is an example of 14th century intelligence coexisting with 21st century technology..scary on multiple levels.

  2. The move as such is definitely regressive but it would be unfair to broadly paint the entire region as backward just as a result of this. My job has taken me to Dubai multiple times (as have to all major US and European cities) and I have found the business environment to be vibrant and the Govt. agencies to be pretty dynamic and friendly.

  3. Severus – Freedom of Speech have any meaning? Scary to think you might be willing to give this up. Too many examples of this path leading to a bad destination.

    Suggest watching the movie V for Vendetta.

  4. Severus, does this decision change all of the positives you speak of? Doesn’t a business have to be concerned about the next technology to be turned off? The internet, for example?

  5. DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates’ looming crackdown on BlackBerry services will extend to foreign visitors, putting the government’s concerns over the smart phones in direct conflict with the country’s ambitions to be a business and tourism haven.

    The Emirates’ telecoms regulator said Monday that travelers to the city-state of Dubai and the important oil industry center of Abu Dhabi will — like the 500,000 local subscribers — have to do without BlackBerry e-mail, messaging and Web services starting Oct. 11, even when they carry phones issued in other countries. The handsets themselves will still be allowed for phone calls.

    Emirati authorities say the move is based on security concerns because BlackBerry data are automatically shipped to company computers abroad, where it is difficult for local authorities to monitor for illegal activity or abuse.

  6. @Jim B: Fully agree to your point regarding freedom of speech. Just thought calling the entire region backward was carrying things a bit too far.

    @Michael: Thanks for the response. The current developments are surely rather unwelcome. Connectivity in Dubai was pretty bad to start with -The Internet is slow and highly restricted (I was blocked from visiting one day for God knows what reason), VOIP is completely blocked (no Skype, no and the mobile telephony industry is in the stranglehold of state run Etisalat and charges are very high. Now with even Blackberry services gone …. does sets the warning bells ringing

  7. In my experience ‘backward’ people are backward only when it suits them. They can be as advanced as anyone in the world about other matters. In this case they are using their ‘conservative, moral culture’ to block information which will damage the regime’s stranglehold on power.

  8. I’d worry more about the bigger trends here at home more than Dubai. Compared to where Dubai was 30yrs ago and now(in every aspect) my guess is it’s a century up trend. And this current news may be just a blip within a bigger context.

    “…in America right now, the government owns the automobile industry, the insurance industry, the mortgage industry and the banking industry. The government suddenly owns huge parts of the American economy – that’s what Karl Marx said he wanted, and he didn’t have to fire a shot.” -Jim Rogers

    This is not normal in America while the new law in Dubai is in fact to be expected.

    Freedom is a rare commodity in many parts of the world. For instance, in India the government won’t allow people to own more than 18 acres. Does that mean India is not booming? Of course not.

    Just say’n.

  9. P.s. remember we had some dumb laws in the early parts of the last century, such as prohibition, that didn’t get in the way of the economic boom that followed.

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