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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has said it will suspend BlackBerry messenger, email and web browser services from October 11, citing security concerns.

They say that while their decision is final, they are still in discussions with the Canadian BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion (RIM).

The UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) says its concerns stem from not being able to monitor BlackBerry data.

But the UAE is not the only country that is concerned about the security of BlackBerry. Saudi Arabia has ordered local telecom to freeze the messenger feature, BBM, this month.

Bahrain has instructed that BlackBerry should not be used to distribute local news. And back in 2007, France ordered officials not to use the services to avoid US intelligence intercepting sensitive information.

For its part, India expressed serious concerns that BlackBerry's encryption could be used by terrorists. But a deal - the details of which were not made available to the public - was later made between BlackBerry and India.

Are these concerns justified? Is BlackBerry a threat? Or is this just another move to restrict personal freedom?

Inside Story, with presenter Teymoor Nabili, discusses with Thomas Shambler, the editor of Stuff Magazine Middle East, Nigel Stanley, a specialist in business technology and IT security at Bloor Research, and Ian Brown, a senior fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Monday, August 2, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera