A preliminary agreement between the maker of the popular BlackBerry smart phone, Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM), and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which government officials say grants Saudi some access to users’ data, will avoid a ban on Blackberry in that country.
The arrangement involves placing a BlackBerry server inside the country, Saudi telecom regulatory officials said, and that likely will let the Saudi government monitor messages and allay official fears the service could be used for criminal purposes.
Research in Motion Ltd., the Canadian makers of the Blackberry expressed their intention to place a server in Saudi Arabia. Although the Blackberry phones encrypt e-mails, the preliminary pact will allow Saudi open messages for their surveillance.
This agreement however could set a precedent on how governments and technology companies could get along especially because many countries see such technology devices as a threat to national security.