Tuesday, 10 August 2010

To Berry or Bury it

These days media is been full of news regarding tug of war between black berry and governments across the globe. Issues started when Saudi raised concerns about the security issues regarding usage of blackberry services from  RIM (Research In Motion). This was then taken up by countries like Oman and India. When thinking about terrorists using these devices and create problems in our country we will be very much concerned and a quick solution is to Ban it completely. 

Question is whether it is okay for the government to spy on legal and  confidential communication between law abiding citizens? And, will this move to monitor secure BlackBerry conversations in real-time actually stop terrorism ? And how about the rights to privacy in a democracy where all have constitutional rights?

Why Company's insist on BlackBerry ?

BlackBerry system is designed in such a way that, mail is encrypted at the BES (
) located in your organisation's data centre and decrypted only at your user's BlackBerry device--at no other point does encryption or decryption happen. The BlackBerry security architecture for enterprise customers is based on a symmetric key system whereby your organisation creates its own key and only your organisation ever possesses a copy of the encryption key. RIM says it does not possess a 'master key', nor does any 'back door' exist in the system that would allow RIM or any third party to gain unauthorized access to the key or your valuable corporate data. The BlackBerry security architecture for enterprise customers is designed to exclude the capability for RIM or any third party to read encrypted information under any circumstances. BlackBerry's information governance capabilities are a huge part of the reason why organisations insist on BlackBerry.

Terrorists have also used extremely simple methods of communication. Example in some simply save an e-mail as a draft, and since the password for the e-mail account is known to both sender and receiver, the recipient views the draft too. Even they have used images to hide data inside it. So banning this may not be a solution for all  dangerous communications.

I have nothing against Islam, but still  the only countries that have problems with BlackBerry are Islamic ones, which you'll agree are not exactly admired for their open societies or mature, democratic systems of governance. 

The Telecom department on other hand have lot of other issues to solve first. First the ever awaited 3G, second our Number portability system, third our still not perfect 'Do Not Call Registry'. Also as per latest reports coming not Saudi and Oman has issued statement saying that they are now against the Ban. So  our media and telecom department should make sure not to make this issue just a controversy but to find a solution to the problem all are facing.


rajesh said...

US law enforcement officials can tap into emails and other conversations made using the device, made by Research in Motion, as long as they have proper court orders, Why not India?

Ajith George said...

Thats a point...and India can stick on to it till the issue is resolved.