Blackberries , encryption and other mobile phones

Peter Tomlinson pwt at
Mon Aug 2 09:11:46 BST 2010

This topic rattled around on R4 Today programme, and seemed to settle on:

- Blackberry emails are encrypted (nothing mentioned about any network 
provider effects)

- not just UAE but also Abu Dhabi have announced bans, with different 
dates for implementing

- India was also concerned but appears to have come to some arrangement 
with Blackberry

So maybe UAE and AD are posturing, and want the same deal that India has 

I know nothing about the activities of national security organisations...


Mary Hawking wrote:
> According to Radio 4 Today this morning, the UAE is banning some 
> functions of Blackberries because they are encrypted, the servers are 
> outside the UAE and Blackberry has refused to allow access to the 
> encrypted messages and calls and regard this as a security threat.
> The piece also said that they are not banning iPhones and, by 
> implication, other mobiles: does this mean that the traffic on these 
> is available to the UAE security forces, at any rate, when used within 
> their territory?
> I'm about to change from an ancient Nokia and have been considering 
> Blackberry, iPhone and Android (not necessarily in that order): what 
> are the security models of each, and do they depend on the handset or 
> the network?
> I.e. if I continue with O2 and get a Blackberry, does the handling of 
> the messages depend on the device (Blackberry) or the network supplier 
> (O2), and would it be different if I got an iPhone (or one of the 
> Android phones) but still stayed with O2?
> Confused.
> Mary Hawking
> non-techie GP

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