Saudi telcos ordered to freeze Blackberry Messenger

RIYADH, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s telecoms regulator has ordered local operators to freeze the Messenger function for Blackberry users this month, industry sources said on Sunday.

Sources from two operators in the kingdom said the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) sent a memo notifying them of the order without explaining the move.

CITC Governor Abdul-Rahman al-Jaafari could not immediately comment..

The sources said the interior ministry held a meeting last year with CITC and representatives of the three mobile telecommunciation firms operating in the kingdom to discuss ways of monitoring communication on Blackberry handsets.

Earlier on Sunday, Blackberry maker Research In Motion (RIM) was hit with its first major ban after the United Arab Emirates, citing security risks, said Blackberry services would be barred in October. [ID: LDE67001J] (Reporting by Souhail Karam, Editing by Amran Abocar)