Two states in the Gulf has announced bans to certain functions on BlackBerry mobile phones due ot security concerns. The United Arab Emirates is blocking e-mails and Internet access along with IMs. Saudi Arabia is going to prevent the use of BlackBerry instant messaging.
Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE said that they are not happy because they cannot monitor communications. BlackBerry phones automatically send encrypted data to computer servers outside of the Middle East. The ban is going to happen in the UAE this October and next month for Saudi Arabia.
There are about 500,000 BlackBerry users in the UAE and 400,000 in Saudi Arabia. This means I would not be surprised if there is a major backlash for the banning of services. RIM previously refused the telecommunications regulators in the UAE (known as the TRA) access to the code behind their encrypted networks.