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Smartphone may be security threat, UAE says

  • The BlackBerry smartphone is being reviewed as a possible UAE security threat
  • The government notes its data are managed outside the UAE by a foreign company
  • BlackBerry was allowed in the UAE in 2006, before the passage of a new security law

(CNN) -- Officials in the United Arab Emirates have put the BlackBerry smartphone under review as potential national security threat, according to WAM, the UAE's official state news agency.

BlackBerry "operates beyond the jurisdiction of national legislation since it is the only device ... that exports its data off-shore and is managed by a foreign commercial organization," according to a government statement reported by WAM.

As a result, "certain BlackBerry applications allow people to misuse the service, causing serious social, judicial and national security repercussions," the statement noted.

"We have been working for a long time to resolve these critical issues, with the objective of finding a solution that safeguards our consumers and operates within the boundaries of UAE law."

BlackBerry was introduced in the UAE in 2006, one year before the introduction of new national security legislation, the statement indicated.

BlackBerry did not provide any official response when contacted by CNN.


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