Saudi official says agreement with BlackBerry on services reached, averting ban

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — A Saudi telecom official says an agreement between the authorities and the Canadian maker of the BlackBerry smart phone has been reached averting a ban on the service.

He said the deal would involve Canadian firm Research in Motion installing a server inside the kingdom allowing the Saudi government to monitor BlackBerry data.

The official of the regulatory authority spoke Saturday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the details of the deal with the media.

The Saudi telecommunications regulatory agency announced earlier this week that BlackBerry's messenger service would be halted on Friday over concerns that its data could not be monitored.