BlackBerry faces showdown in India

rim launches blackberry bold 9780

Canada’s Research in Motion and the Indian government may be headed for a showdown that could see BlackBerry services in India shut down. The Indian government has demanded that authorities be granted access to encrypted BlackBerry communications, out of concern the technology could be used by militants and terrorists to plot attacks. RIM has been working with the Indian government to resolve the issue, and the Indian government has repeatedly extended the deadline by which RIM’s services must comply with its requirements. However, the current deadline is still January 31, 2011, and while RIM has come up with a way for Indian officials to tap into decrypted messages on its consumer BlackBerry Messenger service, RIM has remained steadfast that there is no magic back door that will enable it to grant the Indian government access to encrypted enterprise email, although it has also said it wants to work with the Indian government to resolve the issue.

RIM’s consistent assertion that it cannot offer access to BlackBerry services for enterprise means the next move is up to Indian regulators: will they carry through on their threats to shut down BlackBerry service if RIM doesn’t comply, will the accept RIM’s efforts to-date as good enough, or will they require RIM to modify its service so there is a backdoor that can be exploited by authorities—and, potentially, others—to tap into secure communications?

India’s concerns that secure communications can be exploited by terrorists and others are rooted in part in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that killed more than 150 people. The attacks were carried out and coordinated in part using mobile phone and satellite phone technologies. However, banning BlackBerry service—and imposing access requirements on other communications mediums—may stunt India’s burgeoning high technology industries. It would also, obviously, damage RIM’s position in the Indian market, creating an opportunity for other players that are able to comply with the government’s requirements.

RIM’s assertion that there is no backdoor to its enterprise communications rests on the public-key encryption methodology used by the service. The keys used to encrypt the communications are known only to the account-holders themselves, and are never available to RIM: although RIM is apparently willing to enable governments to tap into decrypted communications, in this case it has no means for doing so. Some industry speculation has had authorities in India (and other countries) looking to legislate or impose technical requirements that users of public key encryption services turn over their private keys to the government in order to be able to use the services.

Business

Apple loses battle to use Intel modems in Germany in latest clash with Qualcomm

Apple is following the Federal Trade Commission's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Mobile

Xiaomi Mi 9 will be one of the first phones with monster Snapdragon 855 chip

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.
Wearables

Galaxy Watch Active isn't official yet, but you can see it in Samsung's own app

Samsung may be about to resurrect its Sport line of smartwatches under a new name: The Galaxy Watch Sport Active. Leaks and rumors are building our picture of the device at the moment.
Mobile

Stop buying old tablets, says Samsung, buy the new Galaxy Tab S5e instead

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S5e -- the E is for Essential -- a reasonably priced tablet that includes many of the features we like from the Tab A 10.5, and the Tab S4. Here's what you need to know.
Mobile

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.
Mobile

OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Wearables

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.
Mobile

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.
Mobile

Save space on your iPhone by turning off Live Photos in the camera app

If you want to save storage space on your iPhone or reduce the size of your backup for iCloud, then you should think about turning off Live Photos in the camera app. Find out exactly how to do it with our easy guide.
Mobile

The best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases to keep your titanic phone safe

The new Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is a gorgeous device, with one of the best dual-lens cameras we've ever seen. Keep your titanic device safe and scratch-free with the best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases.