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This article was published on March 7, 2010

Saudi to RIM: We want to monitor Blackberry Messenger, or else!

Saudi to RIM: We want to monitor Blackberry Messenger, or else!
Khaled AlSaleh
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Khaled AlSaleh

Khaled’s passion for tech started at a young age. He believes it may have been somewhere around the age of four when he first tried to elect Khaled’s passion for tech started at a young age. He believes it may have been somewhere around the age of four when he first tried to electrocute himself while putting the laws of physics to test, and the age of 6 when he received his first computer, a ZX Spectrum 16K/48K. Since then, he has developed a passion for all things digital and has been known to spend hours fiddling with toasters that have some intelligence in them. He still can’t make a sandwich though! To learn more about Khaled visit his LinkedIn profile at http://ae.linkedin.com/in/alsaleh

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.