Feeds

Germany bans BlackBerrys and iPhones on snooping fears

Closed proprietary system not safe for gov

Business security measures using SSL

The German government has advised ministers not to use BlackBerry and iPhone devices due to “a dramatic increase of attacks against” its networks.

A general ban on the use of smartphones in certain German ministries is also being considered, Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière confirmed to the country’s business daily newspaper Handelsblatt yesterday.

He said that ministers and senior civil servants had been told to instead use Simko2 gadgets offered by T-Systems, following advice from the German federal office for information security (BSI).

Berlin expressed concern that data for the BlackBerry smartphone passes through two Research in Motion centres in the UK and Canada.

De Maizière added that there was a possible risk of “political IT attacks” from organised crime and foreign intelligence agencies and said that such harm to the government could increase with the use of the BlackBerry and other smartphones.

"The BlackBerry infrastructure is a closed proprietary system. [But] the access standard to our networks must be determined by the government and not by a private company," he told the newspaper.

His comments came after Canada-based RIM was forced to shift servers to Saudi Arabia after that country briefly banned use of the BlackBerry.

Government officials in the United Arab Emirates also threatened to restrict the BlackBerry service.

De Maizière added that the German ministry was first advised to avoid using BlackBerry and iPhone devices in November 2009. The spotlight is now on Germany, following concerns in Saudia Arabia and the UAE where security services complained they were not given access to RIM's servers. ®

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.