Indian Government Testing BlackBerry Monitoring

Posted by at 10:44 am on October 3, 2011

India’s Department of Telecommunications has tasked a technical team with testing the monitoring of some of RIM’s BlackBerry smartphone services, a bureaucrat said on Monday. RIM allowed access to some of its service to the Indian government earlier this year after a drawn-out battle regarding concerns of national safety. The team plans on presenting its findings in a month’s time.

“The solutions offered are for different aspects of security concerns,” said Telecom Secretary R. Chandrashekhar said, though he didn’t detail which services were covered.

RIM maintains monitoring corporate e-mails by a third party is not possible due to the inherent technology used by the company. BlackBerry devices create and store the encryption keys on their respective ends, making it difficult even for RIM to get certain kinds of messaging keys, let alone decode them. It has allowed access to monitor Internet browsing and messenger services, however.

India’s government fears terrorists can plan attacks against the government using RIM devices and doing so while being undetected. Its concerns mirror those of several other governments, including those in the Middle East and Asia. Critics have noted that the Mumbai attacks from years ago were coordinated over regular SMS text messaging and that there was little that could be done to anticipate attacks far enough in advance through text alone

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