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India claims RIM data deal, again

Canadians remain silent

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Indian government sources are again claiming that RIM will provide lawful intercept of all BlackBerry communications, despite the technical impossibility of doing so.

A "senior home ministry official" is quoted, by Indian daily Mint, claiming that RIM has "in principle agreed to provide us recorded data from their servers". The official goes on to explain that very soon the Indian security forces will have access to BES-secured communications.

Which is, of course, bollocks. As even the Guardian now realises - communication between a corporate BlackBerry Enterprise Server and a BlackBerry are encrypted with a key that is only shared between those two devices. Intercepting the communications is easy, reading the intercepted communications is next to impossible.

"Now they have assured us that they will discuss the issue first among themselves and find a way to meet our demands. Later, they would be providing live access to BES" the unnamed official told Mint, apparently promising that RIM would deliver the impossible by the end of December.

But that's what the Canadian company has to do, if it's going to avoid a ban on BlackBerry use in India. Other governments, it seems, have been bought off with access to RIM's own BES - providing access to communications, including web traffic, from users who don't run their own BES. But India is adamant that it wants access to all communications, which RIM can't provide without compromising the security of its product. ®

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