India’s security establishment has taken a hard line view of having the right to intercept data exchange between BlackBerry phone users. This is an issue which they feel very strongly about for security reasons.
RIM, or Research in Motion, says we have no “master key” or “back door” to randomly unlock data from any BlackBerry phone. The user has the ability to create their own security from any third party trying to intercept data being exchanged. This is in reference to e-mail and any form of messaging.
“We are very clear that any BlackBerry service that cannot be fully intercepted by our agencies must be discontinued. Offering access to data is part of the telecom licensing guidelines and has to be adhered to,” said a security official from India.
In an agreement on Tuesday, RIM had proposed to help them track, not intercept, e-mails. This of course would not include any encryption details either.
Wednesday came with India Security testing the solution RIM had offered. India said a standoff will certainly be averted if tests allow interception of services.
While the duel with India continued, neighboring country Saudi Arabia halted BlackBerry services throughout the Kingdom this week, also heightening tensions between RIM and the involved government agencies.
“BlackBerry service in its present state does not meet regulatory requirements .” according to Saudi Arabia News Agency, SPA.
Just days prior, the United Arab Emirates announced they will be shutting down e-mail, messaging and web browsing starting in October. Like Saudi Arabia, UAE is wary of security threats, but did not get specific about what their main concern was with BlackBerry data information being sent and received.
RIM has denied it had agreed to heightened surveillance of its corporate clients by the Indian Government. Talks will no doubt continue between RIM and the dissatisfied governments regarding access to e-mails and other messages sent on the BlackBerry devices.