India holding firm on access to BlackBerry email

india holding firm on access to blackberry email home minister palaniappan chidambaram  jan 2011

Last year India set a deadline of January 31, 2011, for BlackBerry maker Research in Motion to provide the Indian government access to encrypted communications on the BlackBerry service. Although RIM has provided a way for the Indian government to tap into messages sent using its consumer-level BlackBerry Messenger service, the company has insisted it cannot provide access to encrypted email on its enterprise services, since it doesn’t hold the encryption keys. However, India’s home minister Palaniappan Chidambaram tells The Wall Street Journal that the country is going to hold firm and “insist they give us a solution for enterprise service too.”

RIM has recently indicated it will not be able to comply with India’s demands for access to encrypted email service.

It’s not yet clear whether the Indian government will carry through on its threat to shut down BlackBerry service in the country if it cannot tap into encrypted email services, or whether it will grant yet-another extension in order for RIM to come up with a solution. India represents an enormous mobile phone market and a burgeoning hub for large enterprises and technology companies: RIM could survive being kicked out of India, but it would be at a competitive disadvantage , since competitors would leverage their ability to operate in India to squeeze RIM out of other markets.

RIM has consistently claimed there is no technological back door that enables it to turn over decrypted email messages from its enterprise services in response to lawful governmental requests, although the company has indicated in the past it can turn over the encrypted data. Industry speculation has centered on India imposing conditions on BlackBerry’s enterprise operations such that corporate users would be required to turn over their encryption keys to the government in order to use BlackBerry services. Technically, RIM still wouldn’t have a back door to the services…but, in that case, the Indian government would.

India is insisting on access to encrypted communications channels for fear militants and terrorists will use the services to coordinate activities and attacks. Numerous civil and human rights organizations have pointed out that the same monitoring technology can be used to repress free speech, political activism, and other lawful activities, and (of course) could be abused by corrupt agencies or as a result of lapses in security.

However, in a related development, neighboring Pakistan called on mobile operators to shut down BlackBerry service to foreign missions in the country, but quickly reversed the decision and allowed service to be restored. The Pakistani government did not immediately offer an explanation for why it initially ordered the service shut off.

[Image credit: World Economic Forum, photo by Norbert Schiller]

Movies & TV

More cast members join Jordan Peele’s ‘The Twilight Zone’ reboot

Get Out writer and director Jordan Peele is developing and hosting a reboot of the classic sci-fi anthology series The Twilight Zone for CBS All Access, and the cast for the first season is filling out with some familiar faces.
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.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (November 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Smart Home

Google Assistant adds smart home bells and whistles in time for the holidays

Just in time for the holidays, Google Assistant is introducing a bunch of new smart home features, including the ability to reply to broadcast messages, create and use cookbooks, and access enhanced storybook content for kids.
Mobile

T-Mobile OnePlus 6T phones get some improvements in update

The new OnePlus 6T continues OnePlus's tradition, coming with flagship power, camera performance, and the gorgeous design you want -- but for under $600. Here's everything you need to know about the OnePlus 6T.
Smart Home

You can now make Skype calls on Amazon Echo devices

Amazon's Alexa can now make video and voice calls with Microsoft's Skype audio and video calling. Alexa-enabled devices can make voice calls. Alexa devices with video can make video calls to computers, mobile devices, and Xboxes.
Mobile

Google replaces its classic Search page with Discover on mobile devices

As part of its 20th anniversary, Google unveiled its plans to improve Search, starting with its Google Feed. Now known as Discover, the update brings along a redesign to help you find content that aligns with your interests.
Mobile

Sprint offers holiday buy one, get one free deal for iPhone XR lease

After months of rumors and speculation, Apple has finally taken the wraps off of the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now that the phones are out, you might be wondering how you can get them for yourself.
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.
Deals

The best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Mobile

How to find a lost phone, whether it's Android, iPhone, or any other kind

Need to know how to find a lost phone? We have a simple guide right here that will help you to locate your lost or stolen phone using both native and third-party apps and services, whether it’s a smartphone or an older model.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Social Media

Time alerts put the brakes on Facebook consumption, are rolling out now

Just how much time do you spend scrolling through the Facebook feed? Facebook will now tell you. The new features also include daily alerts that tell users when they've spent too much time on the social network.