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BlackBerry: US to hold talks with India, UAE, RIM

By Lalit K Jha
Last updated on: August 06, 2010 11:02 IST

BlackBerryThe US has initiated talks with India, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, besides the Canada-based firm Research In Motion that owns BlackBerry so as to address the 'legitimate' security concerns of these nations.

"We are reaching out to those countries -- the UAE, Saudi Arabia, India and others -- to understand the security concerns and see if we can't work collaboratively to find solutions.

"Therefore, that's a process that is ongoing here at the Department of State. I've got no, you know, announcements to make at this point," State Department spokesman P J Crowley told reporters at his daily news conference.

"We're going to have follow-on meetings with RIM to try to understand fully the issues that have been raised to the company and see if we can't determine how to meet both the security needs that these countries are expressing and also ensure the free flow of information as we are advocating," Crowley said.

If some of these countries follow through on the BlackBerry ban that they have announced, it would have an impact on the US government and its diplomats operating in different countries.

"We are directly affected by what has been suggested. But obviously, we know that both American businessmen, American citizens travelling abroad, the citizens of other countries would be affected as well," Crowley said.

At this point, the US is gaining information and perspective.

"Then once we understand all of the issues involved, and there are technologies issues involved, there are security issues involved, there are regulatory issues involved," he said.

"Once we gain a better understanding then we'll see what we can do about developing and suggesting particular solutions," Crowley said.

Earlier in the day, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: "We are taking time to consult and analyse 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.

"Therefore, I think we will be pursuing both technical and expert discussions as we go forward."

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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