Telecom: Blackberry Users in the UAE

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Telecom: Blackberry Users in the UAE

Postby RocK » Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:09 pm

Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat) declined to comment on Wednesday on a software update it sent to Blackberry users, which the device's maker said was an unauthorised surveillance application.

Canada's Research in Motion Ltd (RIM) said on Tuesday that software sent by the UAE's largest telecoms operator was not a BlackBerry Software Upgrade.

Etisalat had sent text messages to its Blackberry customers in the UAE in recent weeks prompting them to install software that promised to enhance the device's performance. Instead it led to problems such as heavy draining of the battery.

"RIM confirms that this software is not a patch, and it is not a RIM authorised upgrade. RIM did not develop this software application and RIM was not involved in any way in the testing, promotion or distribution of this software application," the Blackberry maker said in a statement.

Etisalat declined to comment when called by the news agency Reuters.

Hundreds of Blackberry smartphone owners in the UAE reported problems with their phones over the last few weeks after the update patch was sent out.

The telecom operator "appears to have distributed a telecommunications surveillance application" designed and developed by U.S. company SS8, said RIM.

The software, when installed, could enable unauthorised access to private or confidential information stored on the users' smartphone, RIM added.

Etisalat issued a statement last week saying the upgrade was necessary for "service enhancements" for issues related to "the handover between 2G to 3G network coverage areas".

However, RIM's statement said the company was not aware of any technical network issues related to the performance of BlackBerry smartphones on Etisalat's network in the UAE.

Most owners of Blackberry handheld phones in the UAE are high net worth business executives as well as expatriates, who comprise the majority of the population.


Its all over the news elswere as well! I dnt use a blackberry myself but im pretty sure most of the THrs living in dxb do. And i know most of u downloaded the patch, but a solution is available cuz my friend a blackberry user found a patch online that deactivates Etisalats "Spayware" patch.....
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