Feeds

Canadian cops cry for BlackBerry wiretap

How to eat a golden egg

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Comment It has recently dawned on Canadian officials that communications sent with the BlackBerry are among the hardest mobile messages to eavesdrop on. But rather than congratulate the Waterloo, Ontario-based Research in Motion on a job well done, they're calling for laws that would force service providers to use only technology that can be tapped.

Police and politicians in Canada call the BlackBerry the device of choice for criminals and law enforcement, according to the CBC. That's largely thanks to the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, which encrypts data and secures network connections. Layer on top of that some additional encryption software - which is easy to do on the Blackberry - and you've got something close to military grade security, the news service says.

Enter liberal member of parliament Marlene Jennings, who tells the news service that cracking the BlackBerry and other devices that use strong encryption is essential for law enforcement to do its job.

"Law enforcement needs it, Canadians need it. It's an essential tool for the battle against crime," she says.

No doubt, not all police surveillance is bad, and the protection encryption provides from prying eyes cuts both ways. Which is to say that sometimes encryption is going to make it easier for bad guys to conceal their illicit ways.

But a lot of perfectly legitimate people - including a certain leader of a large, western state - swear by the BlackBerry precisely because it is viewed as more secure than iPhones and all its peers.

Sure, law enforcement would be required to have a warrant before they could access any encrypted communications. But the US Secret Service isn't likely to take comfort in such formalities, and neither are millions of business people who want to exercise some level of control over the messages they send.

So, to MP Jennings and her allies: Good luck fighting a losing battle against technology. And a warning: If you're not careful, you may kill the goose that lays your country's most golden of eggs. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
BlackEnergy crimeware coursing through US control systems
US CERT says three flavours of control kit are under attack
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.