Feeds

India gives BlackBerry reprieve, eyeballs Google, Skype

60 days to prove lack of security

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

The Indian government has granted BlackBerry users a two-month stay of execution, while it evaluates RIM's latest interception facility and serves notice to Google and Skype.

It's far from clear what RIM has promised the Indian government - neither party is prepared to provide details - but it's obviously enough for the Indians to consider that battle over and issue notice to both Google and Skype that they are next, while it spends the next 60 working out if RIM's offering is good enough.

"Any communication through the telecom networks should be accessible to the law enforcement agencies" pointed out the statement from India's Ministry of Home Affairs. "RIM have made certain proposals for lawful access by law enforcement agencies and these would be operationalized immediately."

So some interception will be working from tomorrow morning (1 September), but the service still needs two months evaluation to be sure it's good enough.

We've already suggested that locating RIM a server within the country will enable lawful intercept, for customers that don't run their own BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), and it seems likely that this is what's being provided initially. (Even if the server isn't physically located within India, there's little moral problem with RIM offering equivalent access while an Indian server is being set up.) But intercepting communications between a user's own BES and BlackBerry handsets is far more difficult, and we can only imagine that this is what's being arranged over the next couple of months.

Still, that's enough of a victory for the Indian government to start working on Google and Skype, the Press Trust of India is reporting that both companies are being asked to put servers within India or face bans on their telecommunication servers.

Which will no doubt lead to both companies having to explain why this won't help - Skype and Google Talk are both encrypted end-to-end, so intercepting communications is extremely difficult. But getting that point across to politicians isn't easy, especially when said politicians believe that one company's unbreakable security has already been broken by the simple expedient of threatening a ban. And when all you have is a hammer... ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.