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Message From Rim Chief: Monitoring Would Kill Web

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Blackberry in Dubai

A man tests a BlackBerry at a shopping mall in Dubai.


Research In Motion Ltd. co-CEO Michael Lazaridis lashed out at governments seeking to ban his company's BlackBerry phones, saying they risk undermining the growth of electronic commerce by demanding access to secure communications and transactions.

"This is about the Internet," Mr. Lazaridis said. "Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off."

RIM is being pressured by authorities in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, India and other countries to provide greater access to the encrypted information sent by its devices. Saudi Arabia has ordered its cellphone providers to halt BlackBerry service beginning Friday. The U.A.E. has set a ban starting in October, though the government said it is open to discussions.

From The Wall Street Journal
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