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U.A.E. Defends 'Right' To Halt BlackBerry Services

The United Arab Emirates has defended its right to suspend key BlackBerry smartphone services after Washington criticized the move.

Yousef al-Otaiba, the U.A.E.'s ambassador to Washington, says his country is exercising its sovereign right to control information for the good of national security.

On August 2, U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said the United States is disappointed about the U.A.E.'s plans to cut BlackBerry services:

"We are committed to promoting the free flow of information. We think it's innovative, it's integral to an innovative economy," Crowley said.

Crowley said the decision "sets a dangerous precedent" of information control. He said. U.S. President Barack Obama's administration would be speaking with officials from the U.A.E. about the reasons for the ban.

compiled from agency reports