UAE's Blackberry Ban: Why is Canada Silent?
August 4, 2010
Christian Science Monitor, by Stephen Kurczy
The UAE’s proposed BlackBerry ban is sparking numerous statements of support for the phone’s Canada-based maker Research in Motion (RIM), except from the one entity expected to be the first to speak up: the Canadian government.
Human rights organizations have joined the United States in condemning the decision of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to suspend Blackberry Messenger, Blackberry E-mail, and Blackberry Web-browsing services starting Oct. 11 unless it can access encrypted messages, citing security concerns.
But the Canadian government is mum.
“The US can’t be doing this all the time. Where was the Canadian government?” says Robert Guerra, the Internet freedom project director at Washington-based Freedom House. “The Canadian government has traditionally been a big supporter of human rights. I’m surprised. Maybe it’s summer and they’re away.”
“I think this is a glaring absence and it’s part of a lamentable lack of attention this government has given to cyberspace,” says Ronald Deibert, director of The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. Read more
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.