Feeds

India puts threatened BlackBerry ban on paper

RIM promises to explain how hard things are

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

RIM will be talking to the Indian government this week - trying to explain just how difficult it is to intercept encrypted communications, while promising to do just that.

The Indian government has already said that if it can't intercept BlackBerry messages by the end of the month it will ask network operators to cut off the service, and now it has put that into writing with a formal request to the network operators charging them to implement a solution:

"We have received a letter ... asking us to ensure that legal intervention capability is put in place for BlackBerry services by 31 August 2010," said Tata, one of the companies that received the missive.

It's the network operators who are responsible for imposing some sort of lawful intercept capability, as it is in most countries, but Reuters reports that RIM will be in meetings with the Indian government this week to try and explain just why it's so complicated.

The Indians want a copy of the much-discussed "master key" that will enable them to intercept messages sent and received on BlackBerry phones. The only problem is that this mythical Rosetta stone just doesn't exist - there is no master key.

When the customer is using a BlackBerry Enterprise server then the only reliable option is to listen in at the ends of the connection, ie the server or the handset. The encryption used makes intercepting the message in transit prohibitively expensive.

Users who don't run their own Enterprise Server are reliant on servers run by RIM, which are subject to the lawful interception rules of the country in which they are located.

RIM has servers around the world, including the UK, which is nice for countries that have them and can therefore legally intercept all sorts of traffic, but it's less good for countries without servers who are reduced to trying to listen in at the handset end.

Reuters quotes an Indian government source explaining that RIM has promised access to non-Enterprise users by the end of the month, and will be talking to the government about access to Enterprise users too - though we can't help wondering if that talking will largely consist of RIM explaining various cryptographic concepts to sceptical politicians.

India had negotiated with RIM, but has seen that threatening the firm works much better. There are more than a million BlackBerry users in India, and it's too important a market for RIM to ignore, and it can always argue that having local servers make more sense anyway.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality
Oettinger all about the infrastructure – but not big on substance
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.