Various forms of America media are shut down in overseas countries with some regularity. The Wall Street Journal has been banned in Singapore off and on. Google (GOOG) has had problems with its services in China. Research In Motion (RIMM) is facing a ban, or partial ban, of some of its BlackBerry services, in the United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia said it would follow suit, the Associated Press reported.
"With no solution available and in the public interest, in order to affect resolution of this issue, as of Oct.11, 2010, BlackBerry Messenger, BlackBerry Email and BlackBerry Web-browsing services will be suspended until an acceptable solution can be developed and applied," said Telecommunications Regulatory Authority Chief Mohamed Al Ghanim, according to the emirates news agency, or WAM.
The Wall Street Journal writes that the dispute goes back as far as 2007. The paper adds that because Blackberry messages are encoded by servers in Canadian facilities that cannot be monitored by local UAE officials.
Research In Motion must now face the choices that Dow Jones, the owner of The Journal, and Google did. They can knuckle under to local officials. try to negotiate with them for some middle ground, or potentially have the the BlackBerry and its services suspended permanently. They have, at least, until Oct. 11 to reach a resolution.
United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia Will Shut Down Some BlackBerry Service