Blackberry users living in the United Arab Emirates have accused the government of trying to stifle free speech after threatening to freeze the smart phone’s messenger service from October.
The UAE is unhappy at being unable to monitor Blackberry communications which are encrypted and sent automatically to computer servers off-shore.
The government sees this as a potential threat to national security.
UAE is not alone in its concerns, similar security worries have been raised in Saudi Arabia and India and officials note the same problem does not apply to other smart phones such as Nokia and Apple.
Blackberry has half a million users in the Gulf state and says its tight e-mail security has been key to its popularity worldwide.