BlackBerry users in Canada and the U.S. needn’t worry about Research in Motion Ltd.’s negotiations with countries like Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, India and Lebanon affecting the security of their devices, analysts say.
“It’s highly unlikely there will be any significant changes if you are a Canadian or American business user of the BlackBerry traveling to any of the countries that are in negotiations with the company,” said Kevin Restivo, senior analyst at IDC Canada Ltd.
Corporate security is a major selling point for the BlackBerry, he said. “I would say it’s highly unlikely, if not impossible, for RIM to compromise on anything with regards to encryption of e-mail, messages or revealing messages that are encrypted,” he said.
And while reports say RIM has reached an agreement with the Saudia Arabia, RIM and the government “have essentially said very little,” Restivo pointed out. There have been no confirmations of any kind of agreement and “nothing has been announced or revealed formally,” he said.
Business users in North America, including those visiting or working in Saudi Arabia, should continue to expect service as usual, said Jayanth Angl, senior research analyst at Info-Tech Research Group Ltd.
“There’s been no change to the service yet and certainly nothing that in any way would affect BlackBerry service for the rest of the users worldwide,” he said.
Angl said it’s a “bit early” to speculate on whether the talks between RIM and Saudi Arabia will have an impact on the security of devices for users based in Canada and U.S.
“Other than the Saudi Arabian threat of a ban pulled back … there hasn’t been anything released officially that says whether it was because they reached an agreement,” he said.
Until RIM announces some type of change to the BlackBerry service – whether it’s the details of the solution they have implemented for Saudi Arabia or otherwise – it’s all speculation, said Angl.
“Many clients and many organizations have clearly chosen BlackBerry for its security benefits, including the encryption, so it’s not something that really we can say is going to go one way or the other at this point,” he said.
Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) said last week that it would suspend BlackBerry services in the country because the services violated local regulations.
The CITC ordered the three mobile service providers in the country that offer BlackBerry services – Etihad Etisalat (which uses the brand name Mobily), Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Zain Saudi Arabia – to suspend the service as of Aug. 6.