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Dutch spooks give MPs BlackBerry warning

No end-to-end security - says security service

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Dutch intelligence service AIVD - the same organization that ruled 1,200 e-voting computers inadequate - has warned Dutch MPs to stop using the BlackBerry to access their email because their messages can be intercepted.

In 2003 one hundred BlackBerry handhelds were given to leading politicians and campaign workers from the Dutch CDA (Christian Democratic) party. The idea was that they could access their e-mail wherever they were on the campaign trail.

"Being able to react to and agree on things rapidly is essential," Jan Peter Balkenende, Premier of the Netherlands and leader of the CDA, told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf at the time.

Now almost every Dutch MP owns a BlackBerry. However, last year Dutch intelligence service AIVD had already warned MPs not to discuss anything important through the device because theoretically every message can be intercepted, despite the fact that the BlackBerry is capable of using Triple DES encryption for data transmission. Unfortunately, end-to-end encryption (where both parties are secured) cannot always be guaranteed.

The Dutch Department of Defense says it is using its own solution for securing data transmission on the device.®

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