The ongoing dispute between Research In Motion Ltd. and the government of the United Arab Emirates is starting to have a spillover effect.
Kuwait became the latest country to demand concessions from the Waterloo, Ont. smart phone maker. The conservative Muslim nation's government has asked RIM to block a list of 3,000 pornographic Web sites on its devices within the country, according to the al-Jarida daily. Citing an unnamed source, the newspaper said "initial approval" has been given to the plan.
Another report in the Economic Times newspaper said RIM has reached an agreement to let Indian security agencies monitor BlackBerry communication traffic. India had previously complained its inability to conduct such monitoring constituted a national security threat.
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Both the Kuwait and Indian reports are as yet unconfirmed.
Last week, the UAE government said BlackBerrys in the country violated security and social standards by allowing users to communicate without being monitored by local authorities. Over the weekend, the government upped the ante by ordering the state telecom carriers to disable some BlackBerry services - such as e-mail and the BlackBerry messenger - if RIM did not comply.
Since then, both the U.S. State department and the Canadian government have weighed in on the matter, siding with RIM. However the UAE contends that it is asking for nothing more than the kind of access RIM regularly gives other governments, including the U.S.
RIM will try to take the focus off the UAE dispute Tuesday when it hosts journalists in New York City. The event is expected to mark the launch of a new BlackBerry featuring a touch-screen interface, as well as the latest version of the BlackBerry operating system.
It is unclear whether RIM executives will address the UAE situation during the event, which was originally aimed squarely at RIM's competition in the consumer smart phone space: The iPhone from Apple Inc. and phones powered by the Android operating system from Google Inc.
With files from Reuters
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