RIM Averts UAE BlackBerry Blackout

BlackBerry phones in the United Arab Emirates will continue to operate following the news that RIM (s rimm) has reached an agreement with the country to avert a shut-off of its systems. The question: How exactly did RIM avoid an Oct. 11 deadline for the suspension of service? The company and the UAE aren’t saying what the company did to satisfy the government’s demand for access to customer messages, but it likely involves RIM peeling back some of the secrecy behind its data network. “The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has confirmed that BlackBerry services are now compliant with the UAE’s telecommunications regulatory framework,” the state news agency WAM said in a statement.

The UAE has previously demanded that RIM locate its servers inside the country to give the government the ability to monitor traffic. RIM already provides countries like the U.S. similar access. The UAE deal follows other threats of suspension in India and Saudi Arabia, which ended with agreements allowing government access to e-mails.

The governments have argued that they need to be able to see the data to combat terrorism and other national security issues. The flare-ups have raised concerns about RIM’s overseas business and also shined a light on its secure infrastructure, one of its primary assets.

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