State Dept. wades into foreign BlackBerry bans
By Matthew Lee
Friday, August 6, 2010
The Obama administration waded Thursday into the growing international dispute over the banning of BlackBerry services, saying it is seeking to broker compromises between the company that makes the popular smartphones and foreign governments that say the devices pose a security risk.
Worried that the ban will hurt the work of American diplomats and business people overseas, the State Department said it had been in touch with the manufacturer, Research in Motion.
Officials from several nations, including the United Arab Emirates, India, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, have announced or are contemplating bans on BlackBerry features. U.S. officials said they were hoping to broker compromises that would address the legitimate security concerns of some governments and ensure that the free flow of information is not compromised.
"We are taking time to consult and analyze the full range of interests and issues at stake because we know that there is a legitimate security concern, but there's also a legitimate right of free use and access," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said. She said the United States was pursuing technical discussions with all parties.
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