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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