It appears as though the UAE is indeed tightening its restrictions at the expense of the freedom of people and businesses using BlackBerrys—but that Blackberry users may not be the only afflicted by the governments strict security rules.
Quoth The Globe and Mail:
The Canadian maker of BlackBerry devices said Sunday tighter restrictions on the popular gadgets proposed by authorities in the United Arab Emirates would likely apply to other smartphones too.
Waterloo’s Research in Motion has been long embattled by the UAE, and while at times it seemed over, a mutually satisfying agreement is virtually impossible—precisely what the UAE wants is precisely what RIM holds closest to its heart.
Now, RIM itself is saying that esentially all smartphones would have their security compromised by the UAE government in order for it to have tighter control over the communications of its people, according to The Globe.
Research in Motion . . . said in an emailed statement Sunday it has been in contact with the regulator and understands that other smartphone makers could also face new restrictions. “The TRA has confirmed to RIM that any potential policy regarding enterprise services in the UAE would be an industrywide policy applying equally to all enterprise solution providers,” the company said.
The UAE is fighting hard because of fears of potential political activism, although it seems self-destructive to anger the very population you’re trying to keep calm. But after watching Libya, Egypt, and other regions in the Middle East unravel, perhaps the UAE is justified in its efforts to corral civil unrest before it actually ignites.