BlackBerry says India can’t access encrypted dataDecember 31st, 2010 - 3:38 pm ICT by IANS
By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, Dec 31 (IANS) Denying reports that it has agreed to allow access to its encrypted corporate data to Indian authorities, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) Thursday said unscrambling encrypted email on its devices is simply not “technologically feasible.”India has been seeking access to all encrypted communications as the terrorists involved the 2008 Mumbai attack communicated with their handlers by using sophisticated technology. It wants the Canadian company to install a server in India to monitor this service.
However, RIM, which has got two reprieves since August and assured a solution by Jan 31, is not willing to compromise on the privacy of this encrypted service which has made its smart phones a darling of businesses.
Reacting to the report from New Delhi that it has agreed to installation of a ‘network data analysis system’ in India to let security agencies check secure BlackBerry data, RIM said it is ‘inaccurate and misleading.’
The report conveys the impression as if it is “somehow enabling access to data” transmitted through its business server system, RIM told the Canadian Press.
“This is both false and technologically infeasible,” it said.
This so-called “network data analysis system” is just a tool required to allow carriers in India to provide lawful access to its consumer services, including its instant messaging service, RIM was quoted as saying.
“This is not new information as RIM has repeatedly confirmed that it is co-operating with the government of India and enabling carriers to lawfully access consumer services to the same degree imposed on RIM’s competitors in India.”
The Canadian wireless giant has said in the past that it doesn’t have a ‘master key’ to get a third party access to encrypted corporate data under any circumstances.
According to RIM, India’s demand for installing servers in the country is meaningless as all data remain encrypted at all times through all points of transfer between the BlackBerry enterprise server and client smart phones.
The company said it was working with Indian authorities for allowing them access to its consumer services, including the highly popular BlackBerry messenger service.
(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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