India May Crack Blackberry Encryption

India May Crack Blackberry Encryption
India May Crack Blackberry Encryption 8403978 

By Marin Perez
June 13, 2008

An Indian government official said his country may use third-party tools 
to crack the encryption used by Research In Motion's BlackBerrys if the 
company doesn't open up its network.

"If they fail to come up with any satisfactory solution, we will invoke 
other options. We have been approached by other companies with solutions 
to decrypt the data passed over the BlackBerry network," said Telecom 
Minister A Raja during a presentation to the country's Department of 

Previously, Indian security officials had pressured RIM to provide the 
government with a way around its encryption. The government expressed 
concern that because e-mails and data couldn't be intercepted, 
terrorists could be using BlackBerry services to coordinate terrorist 

The government wanted RIM to set up servers that could be monitored by 
Indian security agencies or provide a "master key" to look into data and 
e-mails sent from the company's BlackBerry devices.

Additionally, security officials wanted RIM to lower its encryption from 
256 bits to a 40-bit encryption.

RIM refused the request, saying that its data encryption is designed so 
that no third party, or RIM itself, can access the data being 
transmitted wirelessly. The company also said it's being singled out, as 
there are four other mobile e-mail products providing similar services 
that are not facing the same demands.

RIM is hoping to make inroads with Indian business customers, and its 
security features are a major draw. While there are only 115,000 
BlackBerry users in India, the market for smartphones in India is 
expected to grow rapidly.

Copyright 2007 CMP Media LLC

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