UAE claims RIM's Blackberry is a security threat

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has followed Gulf state Bahrein and claimed that Research in Motion’s Blackberry is a security risk for the country.

Bahrein’s problem with the Blackberry centred around people using a chat application on the phones to share local news. In early April, Bahrein threatened to prosecute people who used the application.

The UAE appears to have the same concerns and said in a statement yesterday that the RIM phone was outside the jurisdiction of its laws. Some Blackberry apps let people cause “serious social, judicial and national security repercussions”.

No political parties are allowed within the UAE, which has an electoral college appointed by rulers of the seven emirates. Its legal system is based on both Islamic Sharia law and civil courts.

The UAE’s news agency said: “The introduction of Blackberry in the UAE in 2006 pre-dates the 2007 introduction of the UAE’s Safety, Emergency and National Security legislation, which regulates Blackberry applications in the UAE.”

The Blackberry, it continues, is the only device operating in the UAE that exports its data offshore and managed by a foreign commercial outfit.

“Certain Blackberry applications allow people to misuse the service, causing serious social, judicial and national security repercussions.” The statement didn’t elaborate on what these repercussions are.