Big Brother Inc.

BlackBerry Makes Deal with Saudis

BlackBerry has reached a deal with Saudi Arabia to allow its messaging service in the country: The smartphone gets an OK as long as BlackBerry places a server in the country so its government can monitor users’ messages. The Saudis were nervous that the BlackBerry messaging service would be used to commit crimes, and the deal could have implications for other countries like India and the United Arab Emirates, who are also nervous about the tech company’s handling of data. Encrypted info sent from the BlackBerry is routed through overseas computers, which local governments can’t monitor. Critics say Saudi Arabia and likeminded nations only want to further choke media and freedom of expression.