India calls RIM's bluff on email access
But RIM ain't bluffing
RIM has only hours left to achieve the impossible, with the Indian government reiterating threats of retaliation if it's denied access to corporate emails tomorrow.
The Indians gave RIM until the end of January to provide lawful intercept capabilities to emails sent from BlackBerry handsets, and since then has been pointedly ignoring RIM's repeated assertions that such access is impossible as it doesn't have the cryptographic keys needed. With the deadline looming, the Indian Home Minister told Reuters that unspecified action will taken.
RIM has already provided for lawful intercept of instant messaging, and email accounts hosted on its BlackBerry Enterprise Servers (BES). However, where a corporation runs its own BES then the encryption keys are only shared between the server and the handset: RIM delivers the messages, but has no way to decrypt them.
RIM has been repeating that position over the last few days, trying to get the point through and hoping to maintain service to the 1.1 million BlackBerry users in India. Now it appears the Indian government has decided that RIM is bluffing and intends to go through with its threat to ask the network operators to block all BlackBerry communications.
The Indians are probably looking at what happened in Saudi Arabia, which blocked BlackBerry communications for several hours until it gained concessions from RIM. But those concessions were, we understand, about filtering web access and lawful intercept of instant messaging - the Indians might think differently. ®
So much for "example of a developing democratic state"
Seriously, I hope this backfires right in the face of India. Corporate email *should* be private within that company.
If the government want to snoop, then they should get a court order to do so, or monitor emails leaving the company only (which is what China do).
Are they demanding companies give them access so they can monitor emails flying over Exchange Activesync (also encrypted between server and handset)?
I really hope that the government suddenly discover that their own BB servers suddenly fuck up and back down. Wankers.
re. Seems reasonable to me...
WTF is "economic intelligence gathering"? And how might it ever be lawful to obtain it?
And how would you "restrict the use of encrypted communications across your border"? Block the HTTPS port?
They are accusomed to locally designed and implemented software
They are simply not accustomed to:
1. A request on an IT matter being given a NO answer
2. A system designed properly with proper audit of the design
3. A system implemented properly with proper audit of the implementation
I guess someone needs to explain to them the cultural differences and the consequences from said cultural differences when applied to products.
It is a pity that even if someone tries to explain that to the Indian government, none of our best beloved blue chips will pay attention to the explanation and why it was necessary in the first place.