Saudi Arabia's attempted Blackberry ban is just another example of a repressive regime clamping down on technologies that improve people's access to information. It's got very little to do with security and everything about authoritarian control.
Open source tools, social networking platforms and access to infinite amounts of data not sanitized by government sources -- and the hardware to use these -- are critical to the creative classes who are producing vast amounts of wealth.
But these things are anathema to regimes that only care about keeping their boot on the neck of the people. In their equation, the need for control beats the need to get rich.
Cuban restricts Internet access. Pakistani bans Facebook. Iran shuts down Twitter (well, in Iran). The Chinese government maintains the Great Firewall. North Korea sends citizen reporters with video phones off to the Gulag.
And now, on the pretext of improving security (for whom, precisely?) Blackberry is on the chopping block in Saudi Arabia. It may have gotten a last-minute reprieve -- but it's only a matter of time before the scimitar of censorship is going to strike.
Jonathon Narvey is the Editor of The Propagandist.