I was initially surprised to see this story:
The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will hold talks with the UAE over the ongoing BlackBerry dispute.
The United Arab Emirates has said it intends to prevent the phones sending e-mails, accessing the internet, and delivering instant messages.
Authorities are unhappy that they are unable to monitor such encrypted communications via the handsets.
Mrs Clinton said authorities had to balance "legitimate security concerns" with "right of free use and access".
"We are taking time to consult and analyse the full the range of interests and issues at stake, because we know that there is a legitimate security concern," Mrs Clinton said.
"But there is also a legitimate right of free use and access.
"So I think we will be pursuing both technical and expert discussions as we go forward," she added.
Why on earth would the Secretary of State of the United States of America, who surely has a busy agenda, spend her time talking to the UAE about their Blackberry ban? RIM, the makers of Blackberry, are Canadian, so it's not like she's representing American business interests (indeed, she should be pushing American iPhones on Emiratis instead.) It's not really a freedom of speech issue, since Emiratis can have access to other brands of phones that provide similar technology.
Then it hit me: Clinton is representing her real tribe, that secret cabal that runs the government, Washington Crackberry addicts. And the State Dept., which issues Blackberries (why aren't they buying American?!) to its employees partly because they come with all sorts of security options, also must have its thumb-typing protected. Anyone who's been to DC can relate that people there have the unnerving ability to pretend to be having a conversation with you while never taking their eyes off their tiny BB screens. It is one of the many charms of that wondrous city.