The Blackberry Crisis

5 Aug

As you may have already read or seen on the news, as of tomorrow Blackberry’s will no longer function properly in parts of the Middle East, namely the UAE and Saudi Arabia. This may soon become a reality in other countries too. This is mostly due to the security threats that they pose as information sent and recieved by users is encripted and can therefore not be monitored by the authorities. There are other issues at play, like men and women having unmonitored contact via BBM when they should not be doing so etc. But the security threat is a real one and is the official reason for the ban. 

Here is a funny take on the issue from 

Gulf states order Blackberry users to cover their phones in a tiny burqa

no more of that naughty spam eitherNew laws in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will require that every Blackberry user dress their phone a miniature burqa and face veil.

‘The Blackberry burqa means that people can still use their phones,’ said a Saudi government official, ‘but the tiny niqab that covers the screen will stop them from reading emails or accessing the Internet.’

The introduction of the burqa is intended to conceal the Blackberry from unwanted attention. With the veil in place only a tiny slit remains revealing just the time and date, thus preserving its modesty.

‘This is not about censorship or oppression,’ said UAE telecommunications regulator Mohammed al-Ghanem, ‘this is about preserving the essential purity of the Blackberry and protecting it from being corrupted.’

Some businessmen believe that making their phone wear a burqa can be very liberating. ‘It’s great,’ said one, ‘with the veil in place I am free to walk about with my Blackberry in public without the feeling that people are staring lustily at my multi-media application. It also covers my shame for not owning an iPhone.’

Some religious groups have welcomed the policy. ‘If Allah had meant us to freely access the Internet He would have given us web browsers in our heads,’ said a local imam, adding ‘There is absolutely no mention of instant messaging in the Koran and at no point did Muhammad, or any of his eleven wives, ever say LOL, ROFL or PMSL.’

If the Blackberry burqa is successful it may spread to other countries. However, experts say that dressing your phone in a burqa could result in poor reception, especially in France and Belgium.

The British government has yet to declare an official line on phone burqas although Immigration Minister Damian Green said that to ban them would be ‘very unBritish’. He went on to explain that, ‘the British thing to do, as always, is to grumble and tut.’

The Saudi government have promised that anyone who refuses to dress their Blackberry in a burqa will face harsh punishment. ‘I am not saying exactly what we will do,’ said their Minister for Justice, ‘but suffice to say that it isn’t so easy to text with your toes.’


6 Responses to “The Blackberry Crisis”

  1. PeacockWings August 5, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    haha love the picture.
    i can’t believe the problem with the blackberries.
    Technology.. makes life harder and easier at the same time.

    • dustbusting August 8, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

      Tell me about it. Some people are really freaking out over the issue. We are far too attached to electronic gadgets in my opinion…rich coming from someone who blog’s I know!

  2. jana August 8, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    It seems like the cute little burqas will not be necessary after all – aren’t UAE getting their own server to be able to monitor information available to Blackberry users?

    The story had me laugh so hard! There is something about “news” of this kind. There is something amusing in describing a real event with irrational, illogical or impractical explanations. As long as the wording is formal, and “sources” are properly given credit, the story will maintain a high level of credibility. And that’s the funny part. To me, anyway.

    • dustbusting August 8, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

      There seems to be some kind of deal being structured so that the servers are based in the UAE and Saudi and not in Canada. However, this issue has been brewing for over a year now. I think that we will still be hearing a lot more about it before a final decision is reached. All I know is that BlackBerry’s are still fully functional here despite the deadline having come and gone.

      I loved the article. A great take on what is a complete storm in a teacup to me…but then I don’t own a BlackBerry.

  3. Marin Man September 7, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    as a gesture and a courtesy you should mention the place you quoted the article from it.

    • dustbusting September 8, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

      Dear Marin Man

      You may need to read my post again and see that I did make mention of where I found the article, namely

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