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Blackberry Gives India Access To Servers 182

Meshach writes "As happened earlier in Saudi Arabia Blackberry has reached a deal that allows Indian authorities access to the transmissions of hand held devices. Much of the fear comes from worries about terrorists: Pakistani-based militants used mobile and satellite phones in the 2008 attacks that killed 166 people in Mumbai."
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Blackberry Gives India Access To Servers

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  • Re:How long... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by vlueboy ( 1799360 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @12:40AM (#33248844)

    This will be pretty interesting in shaping the expansion of future multinational companies: how long until every country decides that your "private" T1 connecting New York to Tokyo needs to pass through traffic sniffing tools so that both countries are sure nobody is using private corporations for terrorist activities? Far fetched? AlQaida is a private corporation on its own way. You just need some sleeper cells properly situated at both ends of the wire inside a fortune 500 company, especially an outsource friendly one. Then, even if Intel has no idea of the crimes being aided by their "private" network, these "super-private" interests can be allowed to harm both countries.

    That said, I do not agree with government spying, but see that even as cellphone communications are important to control, eventually government "greed" will stop at nothing for the sake of national security.

  • by Gopal.V ( 532678 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @01:03AM (#33248962) Homepage Journal

    I know RIM is only providing meta-data on the content, but honestly, are you telling me that this *wont* be used to spy on a corporate competitor?

    India is corrupt in a very "Who me?" way. This law has only abuses, in a country where you can buy a SIM for 5 dollars, with a photocopy of just about anybody's id. The terrorists don't need to bother with the BB or anything even remotely expensive - the underworld maybe (The D Company []), but not the "kill them all and let God sort them out" category of terrorists.

    But it's not like India is the first place to do this. Echelon was used similarly, I guess to spy on foreign firms.

  • by khchung ( 462899 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @01:05AM (#33248968) Journal

    By overtly giving access to these governments they can scan for US or European business partners (hopefully RIM limits to the local to that country traffic). This allows them an unfair competitive advantage as they can then direct local companies often state owned or controlled to change bids or marketing approaches.

    Yes, and as we all know, the US and Europe (incl UK) governments are such bastion of moral behavior that they had never and would never ever use data collected through immoral means (e.g. spying, wire-tapping, etc) to assist their own businesses.

    A more cynical person (who might have read about such abuses by various western governments in the past) would more likely to think that by gaining such access, these governments would simply be "leveling the playing field" rather than gaining any "unfair advantage".

  • Re:How long... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by davester666 ( 731373 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @01:17AM (#33249028) Journal

    Of course, there are only a billion or so trivial ways to privately communicate using a public network, from one-time pads, to stenography [in text, images, video, or other binary files], to using ssh, or https.

    And for all you higher and mightier Americans using IMAP, I'm sure you know the police can request any email, without a warrant, for any email stored on a server for more than 180 days (and now believes that they can also get any email stored on the server for less than 180 days if you've read it) [] I wonder if GMail has a portal that lets the police do this or if they just forward all email to the FBI as it passes 180 days...

  • by ricky1962 ( 149006 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @01:25AM (#33249052)

    They can always go back to using number stations on the shortwave bands. Just a thought.

  • Re:Fuck you RIM (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 14, 2010 @02:35AM (#33249274)

    So instead you will go to one of the companies that India/Saudi Arabia did not have to threaten to get the data they wanted? ie the ones they did not have any trouble cracking?

  • Re:Niggers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ironhandx ( 1762146 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @03:21AM (#33249394)

    and they made my decision on which smartphone to get when my Blackberry Storm kicks the bucket a whole lot easier. One of the reasons I went with them was because of their relative integrity when it comes to my information. If that practice is going out the window then my business just went out the window for them as well, and I'm certain I'm not alone.

  • by Xenographic ( 557057 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @03:34AM (#33249424) Journal

    Verizon has delegated enough authority to let the UAE write SSL certificates impersonating any site [] which will get automatically accepted by most browsers, so don't you think it's getting hard to know if your communications are actually secure from eavesdropping?

    Part of the problem of secure communications is that there are too many governments who don't want people to have them because people can (and do) plot nefarious things with them.

  • Re:Oh, I get it ... (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 14, 2010 @08:22AM (#33250094)
    Nope, just around 13%. And thank god for that. It's bad enough when we have so many Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc. I shudder to think of what would happen if a behemoth like India were overwhelmingly Muslim. A bunch of terrorists might have nuked NYC by now, and we'd see a lot more Burkhas all over the place!!!!!
  • by gedw99 ( 1597337 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @09:02AM (#33250228)

    with al the effort by government to get access to the comm transmissions on Blackberry's, that SEEMS TO INDICATE that they already have access on other mainstream networks and brands.

    this is really worrying.


  • Re:The United States (Score:1, Interesting)

    by mustPushCart ( 1871520 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @10:57AM (#33250664)
    Ignoring the 'crappy, little and backwards' part of your post, i'd like you to know that monitoring of mobile phone services in a country like India is one of the very few ways to actually fix a littttle problem that we have. The attacks in Mumbai in December were pretty devastating, we are regularly hit by terrorists off and on (when was the last half decent terrorist hit in the US? 2001?) so your comparison is unwarranted. What you should remember is that the taped conversations and their handlers who were sitting pretty in a neighboring country were one of the most important pieces of evidence against them (the handlers and the country housing them). If it was not for those, the case would have been much weaker. Maybe you live in a safer country than India, but I for one would gladly give up a part of my privacy if it helps the authorities nab the fanatics who perpetrate these acts. Some sacrifices are just worth it, even if your government misuses them. PS: India's independence day in 3 hours from this post.
  • Re:Oh, I get it ... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by BangaIorean ( 1848966 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @11:13AM (#33250780)
    As of today, India and Pakistan are separate countries. Iran is a third, totally unrelated country. And no, your shrill cries of 'Islamophobia' are laughable. I wouldn't necessarily "hate hearing of the Indian Muslim population growing by leaps and bounds" as you put it, but I do hate hearing unsubstantiated bullshit like 'India's Muslim population is almost 700 million'. Tommy rot! Like I said earlier, you're talking out of a rarely seen orifice. If you contend that India has 700 million Muslims you need to tell us how you came up with such incredible nonsense - anything to back up your assertions?
  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @01:17PM (#33251522)

    I know a number of people with corporate-issued Blackberrys. One of the featuures that made these attractive to corporate customers was that RIM set them up with their own server infrastructure. This placed encryption and data security in the hands of their IT departments. While the networks over which data traffic travels might be intercepted by foreign officials, those messages remain encrypted until they arrive at the company servers. RIM is out of the loop.

    How do these governments deal with such networks?

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.