Los Angeles – Days after the United Arab Emirates announced it would block
email and messaging services on RIM’s (NASD: RIMM) BlackBerry devices later this year, Saudi
Arabia said on Wednesday that it will halt BlackBerry instant messaging services
this week.

Local mobile networks Saudi Telecom, Mobily and Zain Saudi Arabia
were ordered by the Saudi government to suspend BlackBerry services on Friday,
which said the service does not meet regulatory requirements.

The countries are
thought to be wary of the encryption of BlackBerry data that is processed on
servers in North America.

In a statement, RIM maintains that it cannot provide
keys to unlock the encryption to governments who want to monitor communications
because it does not possess them.

The company is now reportedly in last-minute
talks with the Saudi government to avoid the BlackBerry service suspension
slated for Friday.


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