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UN Telecom Chief Urges Blackberry Data Sharing 196

Posted by timothy
from the best-interests-at-heart dept.
crimeandpunishment writes "The top man in telecommunications at the United Nations is weighing in on the Blackberry battle ... and he says share the data. The UN's telecom chief says governments have legitimate security concerns, and Research in Motion should give them access to its customer data. In an interview with the Associated Press, Hamadoun Toure said 'There is a need for cooperation between governments and the private sector on security issues.'"
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UN Telecom Chief Urges Blackberry Data Sharing

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 02, 2010 @03:28PM (#33455768)

    I think I speak for all of us, when I say: FUCK THE UN!!!

    • by Spazmania (174582)

      Why would I do that? They probably have STDs.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) *

      You think wrong. The UN does much good, even though this ain't good.

      • by bsDaemon (87307)

        What useful thing has the UN ever really done? I mean, really, honestly. They're useless at best, potentially hazardous at worst.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        The UN was conceived for provide aid to needy areas by a unified front. Now they are hell bent on governing the entire planet. I, for one, do not recognize any authority of the UN as a governing body and the United States had better be on the same page or life and liberty as we know it will be ended. Unfortunately, a one world government in in the Bible as prophecy and will come to pass as part of the timeline to the end of the world as we know it.
        • by gorzek (647352)

          Well, at least the "Insane" part of your name is accurate.

        • by jpmorgan (517966) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @04:19PM (#33456612) Homepage

          No, the UN was conceived as a forum for international diplomacy, to foster international cooperation. Its first act was to pledge each member to continue the war (the second world one) until complete victory had been achieved.

          International aid is scope creep.

          • by Marcika (1003625)

            No, the UN was conceived as a forum for international diplomacy, to foster international cooperation. Its first act was to pledge each member to continue the war (the second world one) until complete victory had been achieved.

            International aid is scope creep.

            No it was not, and is not. One of the main goals of the UN stated in the 1945 preamble of the UN charter reads :"Determined ... to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, AND FOR THESE ENDS ... to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples"

            So it is clear that international aid was one of the four main goals from the get-go, together with diplomacy, peacekeeping and a forum for international justice/arbitration.

          • by Velex (120469)

            Its first act was to pledge each member to continue the war (the second world one) until complete victory had been achieved.

            And so, the UN un-Nazi-ed the world!

        • That's why when I was getting my bachelors in Economics and taking a class on Economic Development, everyone refused to read the one textbook since it was written by the UN and every chapter boiled down to "All of the worlds problems would go away if we just let the UN control everything".
        • I find the UN makes far more sense if you think of it as the Trade Association for the Beuracracy Industry.
        • by Jawnn (445279)

          The UN was conceived for provide aid to needy areas by a unified front. Now they are hell bent on governing the entire planet.

          Typical right wingnut blather. If you truly believe this, you are truly ignorant about the UN, the aims of it's creators, it's charter, the mission it currently holds for itself, and on and on. Read Strobe Talbot's "The Great Experiment: The Story of Ancient Empires, Modern States, and the Quest for a Global Nation". Despite the title that you will not doubt be sputtering to cry "See?!" about, this erudite commentary on the nature of nations should make it quite clear that the UN is anything but a world gov

      • by couchslug (175151)

        Citation needed. Yes, really.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Yvan256 (722131)

      But... the Un Un-Nazied the world forever!

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      I think I speak for all of us, when I say: FUCK THE UN!!!

      How does someone from Western Africa not understand why it's a bad idea to give governments access to private communications?

      I see this in the biography of this Dr Hamadoun I. Touré:

      He is well known for his steadfast commitment to projects such as AFROSAT, AFSAT, PANAFTEL (Pan-African Telecommunications Network), as well as for his contributions to numerous conferences and meetings of ITU, INTELSAT, RASCOM, PATU (Pan-African Telecommunications Un

    • What about the security concerns of the citizens?

    • UN is an organization where countries such as China, Cuba, Nigeria, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are all acting members of the so-called "UN Human Rights Council". Why should anyone care in the slightest about anything such an organization may say?

    • by Jawnn (445279)
      You may not speak for all of us, but you speak for all of us who realize what a staggeringly stupid move it is to give up one's privacy. The terrorism argument is bullshit, of course, but it is a most effective bogey man with which to frighten the masses into giving up one of the most powerful things they have. When those in power can bend the will of those who carry our messages and store our secrets, trivial or not, the power they hold is magnified almost beyond comprehension.

      So yeah. Fuck the UN, on t
  • TFA is firewalled... (Score:5, Informative)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday September 02, 2010 @03:29PM (#33455780) Homepage Journal

    It says it's an entertainment site. But I found a better source [msn.com] anyway; TFA probably cut and pasted from the AP (or from another site that paid the AP for publication) anyway.

  • Next... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by grub (11606)
    Next will be government mandated backdoors into SSH and SSL... you know, to stop the terrorists.
    • Personally, i think this isn't a black and white subject.

      on one hand, no one wants 9/11 to happen again, on the other hand, pretty much everyone ask the gov. to keep their nose out of their tcp packets to put it lightly.

      I think we have to lay off from the privacy pedestal and find a middle point. like for instance, i think that if the cia/fbi or whoever presents RIM with a court mandate or authorization to monitor this person or this number, then RIM should give them the encryption key of the targeted perso

      • by acoustix (123925)

        Personally, i think this isn't a black and white subject.

        I do. Give me liberty or give me death.

        9/11 wouldn't have been prevented with this access anyway because all of the information was still too vague and they still wouldn't have followed up on it.

    • by exomondo (1725132)

      Next will be government mandated backdoors into SSH and SSL... you know, to stop the terrorists.

      No, that will happen when SSH and SSL traffic is keeping them from getting oil ;)

  • We don't need no steenkin' privacy. In fact, if we don't roll over and submit our every move for scrutiny to our governments, the UN, and the space aliens occupying the ISS, then clearly we have something to hide, and must be locked up for our own good and the good of society.
  • Who needs privacy? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rotide (1015173) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @03:38PM (#33455940)

    Governments need to feel secure. Secure from attacks by foreign nations. Secure from attacks by its own citizens. Governments need all information about anyone they consider a threat. Getting all your information might be considered a breach of your privacy, but it's a safety blanket for the government. Oh, and remember, if you're not with the government, you must be a terrorist.

    Enjoy!

    • by Zerth (26112)

      The problem is that mandating open access makes those governments less secure.

      Right now people use blackberries because they perceive them to be secure, so it is easier for a government to hand RIM a warrant and get data. If governments force RIM to give them full access all the time, everyone will perceive blackberries to be insecure and start using other methods that governments will be unable to control.

    • Oh, and remember, if you're not with the government, you must be a terrorist.

      Too bad our rulers forget that the US was founded by "terrorists". Hell, modern day France only exists because of "terrorists" who dragged the government out in the streets and killed them.

      I'm all for trying to do things peacefully and win people over with rational arguments. However, history has shown plenty of times that rational arguments don't mean shit to the people in power and that the only way to depose tyrants is with violence. I watch as the US government gets worse and worse each day with blat

  • Someone get the UN telecom to read slashdot.

    Or, at least his nephew who walks him through how to reinstall MS Office.
  • Just send your army over and make them. Oh, wait.....

    You gotta love an international organization that has no inherent and reliable method of enforcing it's orders and statements. It's like getting barked at by a Chihuahua in some blond chick's purse.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      It's like getting barked at by a Chihuahua in some blond chick's purse.

      Watch out for those Chihuahuas. I got bit by one last year; got me on the back of the lag on the joint opposite the knee. It hurt like hell, everybody I showed the wound to thought I'd been savaged by a rottweiler.

      But, the UN doesn't need an army; it has the US's army.

      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        "Watch out for those Chihuahuas. I got bit by one last year; got me on the back of the lag on the joint opposite the knee."

        I was bitten by a moose once...

  • Fuck. That. Shit. (Yeah, yeah, mod me down for vulgarity. There is no other appropriate response.)
    • The appropriate response is to stop trusting your ISP to encrypt your data. Use end-to-end encryption, like S/MIME.

  • Someone is going to be deciding what to do with your data here, either the individual companies or the government. Personally, I'd rather that the government made the call (whether it be to keep data private, use it, etc) than maintain the current situation, where we have to beg companies to maintain our privacy, and then trust them to continue to do so. Those of us who live in democratic countries elect our government, and the theory is that they're accountable. We do not elect corporations and private com
    • by JustinOpinion (1246824) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @04:19PM (#33456620)

      Someone is going to be deciding what to do with your data here, either the individual companies or the government.

      Not really a fair way of looking at it. Even if I trust the government more, this isn't an "either" situation. The company has to have access to the data in order for them to provide the service to the customer. So it's either "company has access" or it's "company and government have access". From a user's perspective, it's clearly safer to have fewer people/entities with access to their data. Hence it's preferable for the government NOT to have access.

      On the other hand you're alluding to who should set the rules about data access. I certainly agree that the government is the right entity to set rules like that (the company would prefer not to have any rules, so that they can harm customers at the drop of a hat if it somehow helps their bottom line). But governments setting, and even enforcing, privacy rules doesn't mean they need unfettered access to customer data. (There are smarter ways of doing oversight.)

      So, again, I'm all for companies being subject to legal regulations and oversight. But I'm also very much against companies sharing customer data with governments any more than is absolutely necessary. (Where "absolutely necessary" means some amount of transparency to enable oversight, and the occasional compliance with a valid warrant for specific data. It is most certainly not necessary for government agencies to have complete access to customer data or communications.)

      • by stagg (1606187)
        For the record, I'm inclined to agree. The ideal situation is for the government to enforce some level of encryption and security on carriers and hardware/software developers. Your average end user doesn't know or care about security and encryption, but many of them should. Better that we have the keys to the data in our own pockets. There's a lot the government can do as far as ensuring that records aren't kept, checking how they're stored, and so on. Audits can and do happen, at least in some places.
      • by roman_mir (125474)

        with private companies the rules for access should not be dictated by any gov't.

        Gov't is a monopoly, the individual companies are at least in competition with each other. You don't like the terms of service of RIM, don't buy a blackberry, get something else.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      If your government isn't accountable, you can replace them. If RIM, Google, or anyone else decides to abuse your data... what then?

      If RIM or Google or any other company decides to abuse your data, you can stop doing business with them. If your government decides to abuse your data (like maybe punishing those who organize to try and replace it), what then?

      • by cdrguru (88047)

        Right now, you can move to a different country a whole lot easier than you can stop doing business with Google.

        If you work for a company that provides you a Blackberry your choice of being able to stop using it is probably zero as well.

        I'd suggest moving. Let's see, if everyone moved out of India to somewhere else where would they go?

        • Right now, you can move to a different country a whole lot easier than you can stop doing business with Google.

          I don't know about you, but it would be easier for me to stop using the Internet altogether (let alone just stop doing business with Google) than it would be for me to move to a different country.

    • by Totenglocke (1291680) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @05:41PM (#33457632)
      You're forgetting that companies have (some) reason to want to keep users privacy and make them happy for fear of losing their business. Governments don't have to worry about losing your business because you're forced with threat of jail / violence if you do not do as they order.
  • In most countries in the world, the government is far more likely to cause harm to the public, than the public is likely to cause any harm to the government. In my opinion, the Public certainly has more pressing security concern than any government has. The fact of the matter is, anyone with even the slightest interest in keeping their conversations private will be able to do so easily no matter what their respective government is monitoring. All this really does is give those governments access to the gene
  • by pete-classic (75983) <hutnick@gmail.com> on Thursday September 02, 2010 @04:00PM (#33456350) Homepage Journal

    Secretary Toure,

    FYI:

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation.

    Thought you should know.

    Sincerely Yours,
    Peter Hutnick

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Secretary Toure,

      FYI:

      No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation.

      Thought you should know.

      Sincerely Yours, Peter Hutnick

      Dear Peter,

      FYI:

      arbitrary != any

      arbitrary
      1: depending on individual discretion and not fixed by standards, rules, or law arbitrary
      2: not restrained or limited in the exercise of power arbitrary
      3: based on preference, bias, prejudice, or convenience rather than on reason or fact; existing or coming about seemingly at random or by chance or as an unreasonable act of individual will without regard for facts or applicable law

      Thought you should know.

    • easy way out on that one. just say that its NOT arbitrary but its EVERYONE that gets monitored.

      there. they have it all figured out. lawmakers often do wordsmith things so that they leave 'openings' for later on.

  • They have a history of not supporting an individual's right of privacy ( among other rights ), so why would they change now? They are just another governmental entity, and by nature don't like privacy.

  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @04:07PM (#33456440) Homepage Journal

    There is a need for cooperation between governments and the private sector on security issues. - UN telecom chief

    Yes, there is a need for cooperation between governments and the private sector to protect the people's privacy from invasion by either government or private sector entities. These security issues are far more common, urgent and important than any need for the government or private sector to invade our privacy. And without due process, like evidence/argument/decision in a legitimate court, neither government nor private sector has any "security" interest that should see cooperation by anyone, including people in the government or private sector.

  • What of the security of the citizen in the face of a corrupt government?
  • Governments have ceased to be of the people and by the people and for the people. They are now entities in their own right, safeguarding their own survival. To say otherwise is to say that you're a revolutionist, a terrorist supporter. Because the government would never want *my* information... But yet the FBI has abused their "National Security Letter" privilege over 100,000 times.

    Governments now exist to ensure the biggest corporations stay at the top, and those that are in government, have an easy ride t

  • -- for the U.S. to immediately cease funding the United Nations. As in right f*cking now!
  • Very well ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @04:57PM (#33457108)
    ... you first, Secretary-General Toure. Let's give every government representing a member-state of the United Nations access to Mr. Toure's Blackberry (or the equivalent, if he has a different mobile device) data. ALL of it, since that's what India is requesting from Research In Motion. It would be interesting to see what discussions he's had with industry lobbyists, wouldn't it? Surely SOME nation would leak that information, like Iran if the "talks between satellite provider Eutelstat and the Iranian government" referred to in the article don't go the way Tehran wants.
  • uhm, us citizens have 'security concerns' about our very own government!

    before I hand over my keys to them, they first have to prove worthy of my trust. right now, they fail to have my trust. they need to first earn it.

    you guys go first, ok? give us visibility in the so-called security and level with us and be honest with us what's going on out there.

    then, after say 5 or 10 years of 'good progress reports' and no outright abuse, we'll THINK about it.

    m'kay?

  • from the article:

    The agency has no independent regulatory power, but Toure's comments are a barometer of sentiment among the agency's 192 member states, which are expected to re-elect him to a second term later this year.

    so they have no power. as usual.

    ignore the fuck-wad. he's just repeating what all others in power are *requesting* of their citizenry.

    exercise for the reader: can you find ANY government who's NOT out for a privacy-grab in the name of terrorism? anyone, anyone? bueller? anyone??

    the most popular bandwagon of our decade. "me too! I also want to be able to check out my citizen's emails and stuff. come on, I want that power too!"

    sickening. a dark side of humanity is being shown in this

  • Much like the UN, the ITU is a joke and an amusing waste money. The ITU would love to have controlled Internet standards but the world ignored them and went with the IETF. They would love to have controlled mobile phone standards but the world ignored them and went with the ETSI. They would love to control domain TLDs, but the world ignored them and went with ICANN.

    Both Tory and Labour governments had their butt kicked when they tried first banning, and then introducing key escrow, encryption legislation in

    • by Sxooter (29722)

      I would expect the French to be outraged at this after that incident. Requiring no un-breakable encryption allows foreign govts to snoop on French companies and sell secrets all over again. Lots of packets pass through networks in other countries that have the technological capability to take your breakthrough idea and run with it. Suddenly North Korea is the largest producers of hoverboards and we're all a decade behind suddenly.

  • Maybe we could apply the principles of the Miller test to intrusive government demands. How about this: would you feel more secure or less secure if the government was able to read all your texts whenever they feel like it?
  • is a google stockholder. If RIM shares all consumer Blackberry data on request, people who have reason to care about security who are not running enterprise Blackberry servers will have to shift to android in order to get access to encrypted file / text and encrypted VOIP apps. When I replace my Blackberry, it won't be with a RIM device. People are moving off the platform and this idiocy is going to encourage the move to the exits.

    As for Apple iPhone "crypto":

    Apple claims that hundreds of thousands of iP

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