Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

India threatens to shut down Blackberry services - RIM makes offer

Research In Motion offers to lead forum focused on supporting the law

Article comments

Research In Motion has offered to lead an industry forum in India focused on supporting the lawful access needs of law enforcement agencies, while preserving the legitimate information security needs of corporations and other organisations in India, RIM said Thursday.

RIM did not specify the other members of the industry forum and how it proposes to address India's threat to shut down some BlackBerry services by Tuesday unless the company provides law enforcement agencies access to its instant messaging service and its enterprise service.

Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot earlier in the day told the upper house of India's Parliament that the country may ban BlackBerry services unless a technical solution for the interception and monitoring of BlackBerry services in readable format is made available to law enforcement agencies by then.

Indian government officials were not immediately available to comment on the RIM statement.

The industry forum proposed by RIM will work closely with the Indian government and focus on developing recommendations for policies and processes aimed at preventing the misuse of strong encryption technologies while preserving its many societal benefits in India, RIM said.

Communications services with strong encryption are used by terrorists to plan attacks, according to Indian security agencies.

Banning such strong encryption-based information and communications services would severely limit the effectiveness and productivity of India's corporations, RIM said.

Indian government threatens to cut off Blackberry servicesRIM also said it does not possess a "master key," nor does any "back door" exist in the system that would allow RIM or any third party, under any circumstances, to gain access to encrypted corporate information. The BlackBerry security architecture for enterprise customers was purposely designed to exclude the capability for RIM or any third party to read encrypted information, it said. RIM would simply be unable to accommodate any request for a copy of a customer's encryption key since at no time does RIM ever possess a copy of the key, it added.

Locating BlackBerry infrastructure in a particular geography does not in any way aid or offer access to the encrypted information that flows through the BlackBerry infrastructure, RIM said in a reference to reports that the company may locate a communications server in India to enable monitoring by security agencies.

In a customer update earlier this month, RIM gave a clue as to how far it is willing to compromise with the Indian government, according to analysts.

Setting out conditions for any capabilities it provides to carriers for "lawful" access purposes, RIM said that carriers' capabilities should "be limited to the strict context of lawful access and national security requirements as governed by the country's judicial oversight and rules of law."

Indian law allows the government to demand from carriers the right to monitor communications under certain conditions, including by providing the keys for their decryption.

RIM however indicated in the customer update that it was less likely to give in on its enterprise service, which seems to have emerged as a sticking point in the negotiations between India and the company. Contrary to any rumors, the security architecture is the same around the world and RIM truly has no ability to provide its customers' encryption keys, the company said in that note to customers.



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *