A day after RIM debuted its latest entry in the it's-not-an-iPhone-but-an-amazing-facsimile contest, the BlackBerry Torch 9800, it got a kick in the keister from Saudi Arabia.
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Why? Because RIM's private communications network is impenetrable by law enforcement and intelligence agencies in those countries. (Also, you can view naughty websites on your BlackBerry, though why you'd want to on that tiny screen is a mystery to me.)
In the United States and other Western nations, RIM doesn't have this problem. Why? Because the feds and the spooks can eavesdrop on BlackBerrys as much as they'd like, given the proper authority. Think about that the next time you thumb a risque joke to a business colleague.
Usually wiretapping requests are handled by the big telecom carriers, leaving the handset manufacturers all in the same boat. If Uncle Sam wants to tap AT&T's network (and, trust me, he does), it's the same for any smartphone that runs on it, from the iPhone to the Backflip. But BlackBerry runs its own network using end-to-end encryption, so its devices are being singled out for "special" treatment. RIM is truly screwed in a way that Apple and Motorola are not.
Of course, law enforcement may have legitimate reasons for spying on your email -- but only if a court has determined there's enough probable cause to warrant naming you as a suspect in an investigation.