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RIM In Trouble For Not Violating Privacy 278

Posted by kdawson
from the end-to-end-baby dept.
sufijazz writes "The US government is not alone in wanting to snoop on everything citizens do over email/phone. The Indian government wants that right too. RIM is stating they have no means to decrypt, no master key, and no back door to allow the government to access email." The article notes that 114,000 BlackBerries are in use on the Indian subcontinent. The government is concerned about attacks by militants and sees the BlackBerry as a security risk.
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RIM In Trouble For Not Violating Privacy

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  • by gmack (197796) <gmack@in n e rfire.net> on Friday May 30, 2008 @12:33PM (#23601161) Homepage Journal
    And there's the downside of governments trying to fight modern technology.

    I bet if Blackberry did as they asked then people would start loading custom firmware on their phones to work around it.
    • by Ren Hoak (1217024) on Friday May 30, 2008 @12:36PM (#23601205)
      The BlackBerry has really lost its monopoly on the messaging device. If they were forced to comply with this, I would expect them to lose market share while people flocked to any of the myriad other devices that provide convenient messaging services.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 30, 2008 @12:49PM (#23601425)
        The BlackBerry has really lost its monopoly on the messaging device.

        Blackberry never had a monopoly on the messaging device.

        What Blackberry does have is the best mobile messaging platform, by far. Great management tools, great encryption, great integration with existing IT infrastructure.
        • by cHiphead (17854)
          Blackberry is just a middleman to suck licensing $$ out of Exchange users. Exchange's RPC over HTTPs negates the need for a blackberry enterprise server in a microsoft centric shop.

          Cheers.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by torkus (1133985)
            Except there is a lot you can do on BES that a plain 'ol BB can't do by itself. THB, BES licensing isn't that expensive - especially compared to MS licensing. Heck, T-Mobile gave me 500 free BES CALS as part of a promotion with RIM just for buying blackberries (which we got at a steep, steep discount as well).

            In a small cost-centric shop you don't need a BES. In a medium size enterprise where security, accountability, monitoring, and support are more of a focus the BES is extremely handy if used vaugely
        • Blackberries are only popular because they're the cheapest phone with MS Exchange integration, and as you said, the encryption and management tools are good. The GUI sucks, it uses some proprietary communication methods, it uses this ugly backasswards e-mail forwarding system that's tied to a central server that has gone down before and will go down again, and the phone is really nothing special in general.

          Now if you disagree and wish to mod me down, mod me "Flamebait" like a man, not this limp-wristed "Ove
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by torkus (1133985)
            I won't spend mod points, but I'll reply. Yes, a BB is far cheaper than an iPhone or smartphone. Heck, TMO gives us the curve for 50 bucks on a 1-year contract. The back end server is handy, encryption isn't good - it's 100% mandatory for most companies that want to use mobile email.

            As for the GUI - I'd like to know what's better. It's straight-forward, easy to navigate, incredibly stable. The iPhone is slick but not business-centric. If you like WM well i suppose there's one in every crowd.

            There's no
            • by DarkOx (621550) on Friday May 30, 2008 @08:28PM (#23606303) Journal
              I am sorry but the BES server you need to make it work is a pice of crap. Sure the software might be easy to work with but, it does just nasty things when it comes to exchange integration. Rather then make a connector or something you could add to the event sync, it sits and uses MAPI. This makes for one lots of overhead and sucktackular performance, (if you have a lot of users it will KILL whatever box its running on) as in don't bother running any other apps there and if you make it a VM it will suckup the entire blade quite hapily. Then on top of that it makes you Exchange Administration more of a headache then Exchange Administration already is, in that its INCREDIBLY sensitive to what version of store.exe your running. Don't even think of service packs or hotfixes until its been checked out on BES. I would love nothing more then to get all of our users over to Windows Mobile or Pocket PC. I use it with Exchange Active Sync and yes it does SUCK compared to the BB user experience but its much less nasty on the backend. Personally I would love to kick Exchange out the door and just deploy a nice IMAP solution or go back to Notes but I don't see that ever happening.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Your post so full of it. Let's see:

        1. "lost monopoly" - was it ever a monopoly?
        2. "people flocked" - you mean, everybody will just give up using BB just because a govt is trying to snoop on them? Have you stopped using your phones here in US - govt is spying on your calls for years now.
        3. "myriad other devices for convenient messaging services" - which on? BB is best there is out there when it comes to messaging. iPhone does not even come anywhere near, and its a moot point anyways - its not available i

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And there's the downside of governments trying to fight modern technology.

      I reject your implicit assertion that there is an upside.

    • by unlametheweak (1102159) on Friday May 30, 2008 @12:42PM (#23601309)
      It doesn't matter; allowing governments to spy on people does not stop terrorism, social injustice, crime, political unrest, famine or war. It's an irrational reaction to a problem. Deal with the cause not the effect. But I don't really think politicians are that stupid; I think they know this, but want the excuse to be in the best example of Orwellian arguments to tyranny, however subtly and slowly it creeps upon us.
      • by lena_10326 (1100441) on Friday May 30, 2008 @03:20PM (#23603113) Homepage

        It's an irrational reaction to a problem. Deal with the cause not the effect.
        What do you do when 50 years of diplomacy doesn't work or when adversary won't be satisfied unless you're dead?

        Solving terrorism is not as easy as just dealing with it. Somewhere in that someone has to fill the gaps between desiring to solve it, finding the cause, and eliminating the cause. The best minds and entire nations have been working on it for decades, yet it still persists. At some point, desperation kicks in and all the remaining options, although Orwellian, will be tried.

        I don't think terrorism will ever be solved. It's an unrealistic goal so what needs to be decided is what level of freedom do we need and what cost of life is going to be acceptable to maintain our freedom.

        • by BoberFett (127537) on Friday May 30, 2008 @06:51PM (#23605505)
          Does terrorism need to be solved? Of all the causes of death in the world, terrorism is pretty low on the totem pole. And when you look at the cost of fighting different causes of death, terrorism is way overblown.

          How many people have died in the US due to terrorism compared to what we've spent on it?

          How many people have died due to heart disease and cancer compared to what we've spent on them?

          People's fears of scary muslims behind every corner are the stuff of Saturday morning cartoons.
        • by EdIII (1114411) * on Friday May 30, 2008 @08:34PM (#23606347)
          I don't really agree with everything you said, but the Troll modifier was completely unwarranted. If I could I would give you an Insightful to offset it, but alas, no mod points. To answer your question about what level of freedom we need...

          "Abso-fucking-lute-total-complete-unfettered-pure-grade-A-can-lick-the-chrome-off-a-bumper-freedom."

          Personally, I will accept ZERO losses of freedom for even real gains in security. Not perceived gains mind you, REAL tangible gains.

          You are correct in that solving terrorism is not an easy thing to do. Solving Islamic fundamentalist terrorism is easier to solve than just plain old "terrorism" though. I know some may want to give me a Troll modifier for what I say next, but think about what I am saying for a second....

          I am PERFECTLY willing to go and KILL absolutely every one and everything affecting my freedom. Just point the direction. If a politician says to me that I have to lose freedom, privacy, and anonymity due to some enemy out there, I will respond with this question, "Can we just go kill them instead?".

          The problem with being evolved and having limits is that there are others out there not willing to play by the rules of your game. Sometimes you have to fight for your freedoms, to fight for peace, as crazy and sad as that sounds.

          If the entire Middle East has to become a huge field of glass to save the world for the rest of us, then so be it. Human history is littered with far more brutal events than something like that happening anyways.

          I know how bad that sounds, but I just refuse to live with a high-colonic-super-duty-surveillance system shoved up my ass to deliver questionable gains in security in return for unquestionable losses of my freedom. Whatever happened to fighting for your freedom? I thought that was the American Way right?

          • by lena_10326 (1100441) on Friday May 30, 2008 @09:46PM (#23606705) Homepage

            I don't really agree with everything you said, but the Troll modifier was completely unwarranted.
            I know. Jesus H. Christ. WTF. The idiots mod'ding on here are getting rather out of hand. My post was so NOT troll.

            Anyway. Back to business and on to your your reply.

            Personally, I will accept ZERO losses of freedom for even real gains in security. Not perceived gains mind you, REAL tangible gains.
            It's too late. In 2008, you can be stopped, required to show your 'papers' (driver's license), questioned and interrogated, threatened with guns, shot, arrested, and taken into custody without committing any crime. How? By police. There are so many laws on the books that at any given moment in time you are guilty of something, even if it's a matter of interpretation and you eventually get off, it can still happen causing you grief, humiliation, financial loss, and wasted time. The depressing part is it's worsening by the month.

            I am PERFECTLY willing to go and KILL absolutely every one and everything affecting my freedom. Just point the direction. If a politician says to me that I have to lose freedom, privacy, and anonymity due to some enemy out there, I will respond with this question, "Can we just go kill them instead?".
            My stance would not be so aggressive. I would draw the line at our borders. Inside our borders, yes, but outside no. I don't feel invading other countries to root out 'tarrists' and thus create new 'tarrists' is a wise plan of action, nor is losing our moral ground.

            Whatever happened to fighting for your freedom? I thought that was the American Way right?
            We all have different definitions of fighting though.

    • by smclean (521851) on Friday May 30, 2008 @12:54PM (#23601487) Homepage
      Or just use encryption. To me, that's what is so baffling about the government privacy crackdowns. If anyone who was even remotely well informed wanted to communicate in private, they'd use strong encryption. I guess once someone uses encryption, they get an Indian military intelligence unit parked outside their door.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 30, 2008 @01:16PM (#23601833)
        Or just use encryption. To me, that's what is so baffling about the government privacy crackdowns. If anyone who was even remotely well informed wanted to communicate in private, they'd use strong encryption. I guess once someone uses encryption, they get an Indian military intelligence unit parked outside their door.

        Yes, but blackberries make it easy to communicate securely. You don't have the hassle of a PKI infrastructure with S/MIME certificates, or using PGP.

        Incidentally, blackberries support PGP and S/MIME on top of their existing security.
        • by vux984 (928602) on Friday May 30, 2008 @03:24PM (#23603173)
          Yes, but blackberries make it easy to communicate securely. You don't have the hassle of a PKI infrastructure with S/MIME certificates, or using PGP.

          Actually you do have that infrastructure, and its managed by the IT people running the messaging server. That the point. Its all there, and its managed by the enterprises not RIM. That's why enterprises trust it... because they managed their own pki infrastructure, not RIM.

          RIM made their devices support using it easily and out of the box, but they wouldn't have sold any if they hadn't, given who their original target market was.

          The "problem" now is that I can setup an Exchange server in 'country X' and sell Blackberry hosted accounts on it to criminals or whoever, with end to end encryption to my server. And there is nothing the local government can do about it. They can't snoop on the data because its encrypted, and they can't even issue a warrant to the account host to get the data, because its in 'country X'.

          I can snoop of course, because its my infrastructure, and I do have the keys. But my business and reputation is staked on not snooping, that's WHY I have customers.
      • by vux984 (928602)
        They ARE using encryption. That's how the blackberries work in 'enterprise' mode.

        Its end to end encryption from the device to the enterprise messaging infrastructure. The encryption is essentially implemented and managed by the enterprise IT people not RIM, that's why rim has no 'access'; RIM just helps transport the data from device to enterprise and back, and designed their device and software to support enterprises that wanted to implement encryption.
    • by metlin (258108) on Friday May 30, 2008 @01:01PM (#23601609) Journal
      Well, to play the devil's advocate, terrorism in India is a much more realistic threat than terrorism in the US is (a democracy surrounded by Pakistan, an Islamic dictatorship and China, an aggressive communist state).

      Not that that gives the government the right to do what they are trying to do, but just that do not attribute to malice what can be attributed to idiocy, or desperation.

      Just last week, there were several bomb blasts [atimes.com] that killed over 80 people and injured hundreds more.

      I don't necessarily think they are trying to fight modern technology, as much as try to prevent the bad guys from using it to their benefit. I do not necessarily agree with the way they are going about it, but I can certainly see where they are coming from.

      Unlike the US where the state seems to use one incident as the bugaboo for massive invasion of privacy, countries like India and Israel face terrorism on a daily basis, and for them, this is a real, hard problem that needs to be addressed.

      This is also a debate that has been going on for a long time, and it is too early to make a call.
      • by Torvaun (1040898) on Friday May 30, 2008 @01:22PM (#23601939)
        Don't forget that Bangladesh had a military coup a little over a year ago, and 2 ex-prime ministers, among others, are now in jail on corruption charges. For India, this is the equivalent of being a drug dealer, and seeing your pot-growing neighbor get raided by a SWAT team. Damn right the government there is going to be worried about militia groups.
      • by sm62704 (957197) on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:15PM (#23602299) Journal
        do not attribute to malice what can be attributed to idiocy, or desperation

        I believe Hanlon's razor [wikipedia.org] is dull and rusty and Hanlon was probably using his razor to shave his own malice. Not that I ever heard off Hanlon before looking the quote up.

        I subscribe to the credo "Never attribute to stupidity that which can be adequately explained by malice". Call it mcgrew's razor if you wish, it cuts the opposite way as Hanlon's. Malice itself is usually stupid, and anger is almost always counterproductive in our world.

        But it matters little whether the person you are making excuses for is stupid or evil, the result is the same, and the cure is often the same as well. Why do you think they say "wow, that smarts" when they are in pain?
      • by Tikkun (992269) on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:16PM (#23602325) Homepage
        You can't fight murder by banning knives, you can't fight hate by burning books and you can't fight conspiracy by banning privacy. Giving up your rights does not make you in any way safer.

        Deal with the problem, not with the tools.
        • ...you are correct. However, technology is currently providing tools that are more powerful than society is equipt to support. Arguably, this is the fault of society and not technology, that society needs to evolve at a pace no slower than the means it provides for its own self-destruction. However, let's face it. Societies evolve slowly and with extreme prejudice against any kind of progressive stance. The Second Amendment in the USA is nothing more than a remnant of the War of Independence (I won't call i
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:20PM (#23602371)
        Blackberry has been available in India for the last 3 years without the government or DOT raising a single issue about terrorists.

        Its just when Tata Teleservices offered to provide the service that this suddenly became a 'terrorism' issue. Airtel and Hutch now Vodaphone have been providing blackberry since 2004.

        This is not about terrorism but corporate politics and influence peddling which is the way of business in India. RIM just has to pay some money to the right people and this will die a natural death or ask Airtel/Vodaphone to stop their lobbying against Tata Tele.

        Terrorism is fast becoming a favoured excuse and people should be a tad more skeptical before jumping to conclusions about threats that may not exist. Terrorists have many ways of communicating without resorting to blackberry. You can't stop technology because it can be abused.
      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        "Well, to play the devil's advocate, terrorism in India is a much more realistic threat than terrorism in the US is (a democracy surrounded by Pakistan, an Islamic dictatorship and China, an aggressive communist state)."

        Hey...now there is a great reason to outsource all of our IT (with associated privacy info) over to India. If it doesn't go down due to domestic terrorism, nuclear war...it can get pinched and stolen by China easier...

        Man..our US corporations have really thought this out well...

    • Except these are Indians, so they wouldn't be able to make it work.
    • by mazarin5 (309432)
      Any government's biggest enemy is ubiquitous communication amongst its populous. Apply this to blackberries, phones, radio, email, and the Internet in general.
  • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Friday May 30, 2008 @12:36PM (#23601209) Homepage Journal
    Phone companies in the US, maybe elsewhere, are legally required to facilitate eavesdropping under CALEA. End to end encrypted data services such as Skype and Hushmail have escaped this so far.

    Will they be faced with the dilemma of changing their architecture versus being banned? Will they lose confidence no matter what? Hushmail at least used to publish their source code, but Skype is closed source and the binary is heavily obfuscated.
    • by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Friday May 30, 2008 @12:43PM (#23601335) Homepage
      Good thing RIM is a Canadian company.. eh?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by blindd0t (855876)

      Will they be faced with the dilemma of changing their architecture versus being banned?

      I sure hope not! A back door for government is a back door for anyone and everyone. It'd be like having trusted keys for software licensing enforcement, which we all know gets leaked in a heart-beat anyway. :-(

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by grub (11606)

      The Blackberry uses whatever telco you subscribe to but the data portion is end-to-end encrypted. And they're a Canadian company so US laws don't apply. Same goes for Hushmail if memory serves.

    • by unlametheweak (1102159) on Friday May 30, 2008 @01:12PM (#23601763)

      Phone companies in the US, maybe elsewhere, are legally required to facilitate eavesdropping under CALEA. End to end encrypted data services such as Skype and Hushmail have escaped this so far.
      So has TOR and Freenet so far. The German built JAP proxy technology was forced to put in a backdoor for the German police; all completely unannounced until a programmer looked at the (open) source code. Wikipedia has a slightly different interpretation (no back doors, but warrants issued to log IP addresses). To this day there are some very stupid people who believe that "anonymous" services should have backdoors in place to make these services un-anonymous.

      I can remember when the PGP creator was put on trial in the US for his subversive software. The American government was smart in dropping the case and thus not setting a possible legal precedent (against themselves), but that was pre-9/11. As Bob Dylan once said "The times they are ah changin'"
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:14PM (#23602291)
        I can remember when the PGP creator was put on trial in the US for his subversive software.

        He wasn't on trial for his subversive software, it was for exporting munitions without a license.

        Most countries (including the USA) have rules on the exportation of military technology. They don't want John Doe to export 100,000 artillery shells to a war zone (or an enemy) without approval.

        Encrypted communications technology was classified as a munition, so you need a license.

        However, the mathematics for strong encryption had been known for years, and free available around the world, so the US wasn't accomplishing anything by blocking the export of PGP.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      > Hushmail at least used to publish their source code
      Unless their implementation is buggy, that's got nothing to do with crackability. PGP (and any credible) security is in the key, not the algorithm.

      >Will they be faced with the dilemma of changing their architecture versus being banned?
      I sure hope not. Hushmail and Skype are applications/service providers. They don't maintain the physical infrastructure of fiber and copper cables. They are not "common carriers."
    • by ADRA (37398)
      1. While you're at it, you better ban SSL and high grade encryption as well, right?

      Oh thats right, NSA lifted the export restrictions on high grade encryption because it could be cracked by their uber super computers anyway.

      2. An access provider can only ever allow decryption of messages that they are on one end of the communication channel. If a Telco is a man in the middle of an encrypted channel, the telco cannot possibly facilitate a decryption request, so they can only ship the encrypted stream, origin
  • by Gat0r30y (957941) on Friday May 30, 2008 @12:39PM (#23601265) Homepage Journal
    So.... the Indian government wants RIM to figure out a way to decrypt every email - from all those CrackBerries, without any keys (RIM doesn't have the keys) and store them all on a local server - and somehow RIM is also supposed to magically know that the hardware is in India (they operate independent of location). India, I have bad news. It isn't going to happen. On the upside, this may set a precedent for other companies to reject a governments calls for access to emails without warrants (US companies, take note, you could learn from your neighbor to the north).
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Actually, RIM has agreed to India's demands

      http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/RIM_agrees_to_pass_BlackBerry_content_on_condition/rssarticleshow/3056271.cms
  • by hassanchop (1261914) on Friday May 30, 2008 @12:43PM (#23601327)

    The Indian government wants that right too


    This shit infuriates me.

    GOVERNMENTS DO NOT HAVE RIGHTS OF ANY KIND.

    Governments have powers. This IS NOT a simple semantic argument.
    • More specifically, governments have nothing the PEOPLE don't grant them.

      And since the PEOPLE grant them, the PEOPLE can (and should) be able to TAKE THEM AWAY.

      So, let's pretend we (at least Americans) _remember_ the true spirit of our Founding Fathers....

      That's why when we sheepishly ask the government to solve a problem, we really need to think before we grant them _more_ power.

      And yes, it's not perfect, and we're to blame for most of the ills of our own governments... but in the US, we still have the Cons
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      GOVERNMENTS DO NOT HAVE RIGHTS OF ANY KIND.
      I think we've got one of those freedom-loving, government-hating terrorists on our hands. Sir, please put your hands on your head....
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by scorp1us (235526)
      Not exactly true. Since you're saying it is not semantic... Governments have a right of sovereignty, which is a right between governments.

      But between the government and its people, only republican (not the party) governments do not have rights. Monarchies have rights secured by god(s).(Which is a dubious claim because I've never seen a god testify in court that he granted said rights.) Democracies are a bit of a gray area, where popular vote can take anything it wants with a simple majority (of those that v
      • No they don't (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hassanchop (1261914) on Friday May 30, 2008 @03:24PM (#23603175)

        Governments have a right of sovereignty, which is a right between governments.


        No, they do not. The have the powers and responsibilities of sovereignty, given to them by the people that instituted said government.

        Calling it a "right" is a misuse of the term, and the rest of your post is just as factually inaccurate.
  • by pha7boy (1242512) on Friday May 30, 2008 @12:44PM (#23601353)

    ... and is protected from disclosure.

    So, what happens when trade secrets leak because some gov employee got bribed to access them and pass them to a competitor?... I would assume RIM could also be held liable for loss. And its harder to sue (and win) against a government, esp. somewhere like India. A lot easier to drag RIM in front of a jury in the US.

    • ... and is protected from disclosure.

      So, what happens when trade secrets leak because some gov employee got bribed to access them and pass them to a competitor?... I would assume RIM could also be held liable for loss. And its harder to sue (and win) against a government, esp. somewhere like India. A lot easier to drag RIM in front of a jury in the US.

      How's this any different to a US government employee being bribed to arrange a tap on a business phoneline and passing details of any conversation to an outside party?

    • So, what happens when trade secrets leak because some gov employee got bribed to access them and pass them to a competitor?... I would assume RIM could also be held liable for loss.
      I'm sure that would be covered in the EULA, as just about everything and the kitchen sink seems to be. And generally governments don't need to bribe anybody to steal trade secrets, as that is (or at least before 9/11) the primary goal of government spying (economic espionage).
    • by sm62704 (957197)
      So, what happens when trade secrets leak

      I'm not Indian, but in my country (USA) we developed patents for the express purpose of avoiding "trade secrets".

      Trade Secrets are unamerican. No true American Conservative would defend their existance.
  • by tkrotchko (124118) * on Friday May 30, 2008 @12:45PM (#23601357) Homepage
    If you had the means to break into emails and give the key to the government....

    Think of this... If you are a government, wouldn't you like RIM to announce that their encryption is unbreakable, and then you announce how unhappy you are with them? I mean, wouldn't RIM be shooting itself in the foot to announce "Oh yes, there's a master key, and if we'll give it up under certain circumstances that we won't discuss"?

    And what a great advertisement to have the government say "Even we can't snoop on your email". If you spent a billion dollars on advertising, you couldn't get that kind of great publicity.

    It all seems to.... "convenient".

  • RIM is stating they have no means to decrypt, no master key, and no back door to allow the government to access email.

    <tinfoil_hat scarcasm_mode=high>
    Sure, that's what they say to the public...
    </tinfoil_hat>
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Sure, that's what they say to the public...

      I know you're joking, but the Blackberry platform has been audited from end-to-end [blackberry.com] by the governments of Canada, United Kingdom, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, United States, Norway and Turkey. Also approved by NATO and the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology in Germany.

      There may be back doors, but that is a pretty wide spectrum of institutions.

      And frankly, you really don't need a back door. The blackberry is a secure conduit between a handheld
  • by jhouserizer (616566) on Friday May 30, 2008 @12:51PM (#23601449) Homepage
    If the Blackberry is a security risk, so is a pen.
    • Re:Security Risk? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by spikexyz (403776) on Friday May 30, 2008 @01:00PM (#23601587)
      The pen has always been a risk. The american (canadian) dream is financial and not ethical or intellectual. People writing dangerous ideas have always been a threat and doing so has been tolerated as far as it doesn't pose and significant threat to making money. The difference now is that the government can now eavesdrop on the pen and they want to do so to better ensure that there aren't too many dangerous ideas.
      • Oh absolutely. I was primarily pointing out that going after RIM is highly selective and not going to get them far in terms of real results!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sm62704 (957197)
      "The pen is mightier than the sword" - Edward Bulwer-Lytton [wikipedia.org] in 1839 for his play Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy.

      True, This! --
      Beneath the rule of men entirely great,
      The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
      The arch-enchanters wand! -- itself a nothing! --
      But taking sorcery from the master-hand
      To paralyse the Cæsars, and to strike
      The loud earth breathless! -- Take away the sword --
      States can be saved without it!

  • Wait a second... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AutopsyReport (856852) on Friday May 30, 2008 @12:54PM (#23601489)
    The US government is not alone in wanting to snoop on everything citizens do over email/phone.

    Hold on a second there.

    I believe the reason the US government uses the BlackBerry is because the service cannot be decrypted. If it could be, then they wouldn't be able to rely on it due to security and privacy considerations, etc.

    As much as that statement is kindle for a fire I'm quite certain that at least in the context of using BlackBerry's, the US government has no interest on being able to decrypt communications. I think it's safe to assume the government is content with the fact that there is no backdoor to RIM's services.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bsDaemon (87307)
      I would second this. Every time I have to go to the Hill, every one there is on their blackberries. My friends that are Congressional staffers all get them from work for official communications. It's friggin' blackberries all over the place, and you never see anything else.

      Personally, I stick with my motorola krazer and my palm tx - but if I were to get a smartphone I'd buy a Palm Treo. Never occurred to me why they love blackberry so friggin' much until this story.
      • I worked as a contractor for the FCC and was issued a Blackberry, I think they come with most (Federal)goverment jobs.
  • Problem. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Friday May 30, 2008 @01:01PM (#23601613)
    If you make it so you can monitor the militants with that device... They won't use that device they will just use an other method. There is the concept that encryption technology is so advanced only the best and brightest can take advantage of it. It is easier to use something else the someome made however. It is not that difficult to make your own, espectially if you have a cause.
  • by Animats (122034) on Friday May 30, 2008 @01:09PM (#23601725) Homepage

    Blackberry privacy is only for large enterprises. If you have a corporate Blackberry server, the keys are between the client units and the server, and RIM doesn't have them. If you use Blackberry's public servers, RIM has your E-mail. India only wants "non-corporate emails". [indiatimes.com]

  • by rickb928 (945187) on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:33PM (#23602541) Homepage Journal
    If the Indian government wants to be able to spy on their own Blackberries, then run their own BES cluster. That way they have the data - problem solved.

    Of course, knowing how hard it seems for RIM to let the gummint look at data, I may not give up my BB after all.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    M: "Akeehm, what pretty flowers you have."

    A: "Thank you Mohammed. I should water them."

    M: "For best results, wait until after the 15th of May."

    What does this hypothetical conversation mean? Heck if I know, nor does anyone else. Simple coded language will defeat the global governments and their growing desire to snoop in the name of terrorism. Even if they make encryption illegal, they won't break coded language if they don't know the code, nor will they be able to detect the more clever steganography al

Why did the Roman Empire collapse? What is the Latin for office automation?

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