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UAE, Other Nations Target BlackBerry for Access

This is the VOA Special English Economics Report, from http://voaspecialenglish.com | http://facebook.com/voalearningenglish BlackBerry service is facing limits or bans in some countries over the issue of government access to information on its network. Research in Motion, or RIM, makes BlackBerry communications devices. They run on the company's network and secure software. The company is based in Waterloo, Canada. BlackBerry has forty-six million users worldwide. In August, the United Arab Emirates announced it would block BlackBerry e-mail, web browsing and instant messenger services on October eleventh. The UAE says the services are a threat to national security because government officials cannot access or monitor users' information. Then, Saudi Arabia threatened to block BlackBerry service in August. But later, a telecommunications official reportedly said it would allow service to continue in the country because of "positive developments."These moves renew concern among some people about efforts by the UAE and Saudi Arabia to control the flow of information. Both countries have banned some forms of media seen as harming national security. The ban in the UAE could affect half a million BlackBerry users. Saudi Arabia has about seven hundred thousand users. Kuwait and Lebanon are also said to be considering restrictions. But Middle Eastern countries are not the only ones seeking greater access to BlackBerry information. India and China are among other countries also doing so. Governments, big corporations and individuals use BlackBerry devices because they are highly secure. Users' communications are sent to servers overseas, mostly in Canada, using powerful security measures. RIM says its system is set up in a way that no one, including RIM, can access user information. The company also says it does not matter where their servers are based. Communications are made secure the moment they leave the BlackBerry device through encryption.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States will hold talks with the UAE and other countries about possible bans on BlackBerry services. She said the United States knows there are reasonable security concerns about the service. But she added that there is also a right of free use and access.And that's the VOA Special English Economics Report. You can find transcripts, MP3s and podcasts on our website, voaspecialenglish.com. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube at VOA Learning English. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 06Aug2010)
Length: 03:59

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