Looks like an active week for internet censorship in the Middle East. It’s been reported that the Saudi Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) have asked RIM, makers of the once-ubiquotous Blackberry device, to allow them to monitor all conversations through Blackberry Messenger.
Blackberry messenger was supposed to have stopped working in the Kingdom yesterday, however it seems that BBM is still up and running in Saudi.
This isn’t the first time a regional government tries to monitor Blackberry devices. Last year Etisalat, the largest carrier in the United Arab Emirates, and RIM had a public tiff after Etisalat sent out a “performance-enhancing patch” that drained your device’s battery in under 30 minutes, and allowed them to monitor your device!
So it remains to be seen in this staring contest: will RIM be the first to Bing!
If you’re in Saudi and have a Blackberry, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below and let us know how you get along.