Indian Government Demands Right To Spy On Skype, Gmail, Blackberry Messages

from the spying-more-important-than-productivity dept

Last year we noted that Indian intelligence officials were quite concerned about Skype, and the fact that they couldn't easily tap into communications on Skype. Two years ago, we noted a similar story concerning RIM Blackberry emails. Now Slashdot points us to the news that India's government is once again demanding that Skype and RIM make sure their services are in formats that can be read by law enforcement. A separate article says similar demands are being made on Google with respect to Gmail.

Of course, last time this happened (with RIM, at least), RIM pointed out that there's simply no way for it to decrypt email sent by users, since it's based on an encryption key set up by the end user. In response, the Indian government claimed that it had cracked the encryption used by Blackberries and was able to monitor messages sent via those devices. Of course, the fact that it's now pressuring RIM to format messages in easily spied-upon ways, certainly suggests the news of the cracking of Blackberry's encryption was somewhat exaggerated.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    NullOp, Jul 7th, 2010 @ 4:09am

    India

    I keep telling myself that when the cops monitor traffic its a good thing. I actually know better but I want to THINK its a good thing. Hmmmm......time for some more Koolaide.

     

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    abc gum, Jul 7th, 2010 @ 4:25am

    I've seen pix of the telephone hardlines in India ... how do they tap that crap ?

     

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    BearGriz72 (profile), Jul 7th, 2010 @ 4:46am

    Never Depend on Somebody Else for Your Security

    TrueCrypt, PGP, TOR, or "Online Encryption Tools" that can be used on almost any platform. Hell even ROT5/13/18/47 can be useful in certain circumstances. No Koolaide for me thanks. :)

     

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      Richard (profile), Jul 7th, 2010 @ 5:41am

      Re: Never Depend on Somebody Else for Your Security

      Blackberry already uses PGP - they say they can't read read user messages themselves.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2010 @ 5:46am

      Re: Never Depend on Somebody Else for Your Security

      > Never Depend on Somebody Else for Your Security

      Ah, but you are depending on somebody else for your security. You are depending on the crypto people who designed and wrote the proofs for the algorithms you are using. Unless you are on the level of a Bruce Schneier, you have to depend on their knowledge and integrity.

       

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    Zombiy, Jul 7th, 2010 @ 6:04am

    Justice for All

    India cannot even implement basic justice... there is SO much corruption and bs in their judicial process and yet they demand sophisticated tools... to what end & whose benefit?

     

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    india, Jul 7th, 2010 @ 6:06am

    Well,, all India is asking is "Why are you not allowing us to spy on these services where as countries like USA and UK are allowed to do so...". India is the one of the top worst terrorist hit countries and if US and UK are allowed the same privileges then why cant India. Moreover they are asking a legal way to monitor but if they want they can do it unofficially since they have already cracked it....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2010 @ 7:24am

    So What?

    The easier you make it for the government to spy, the easier it will be to hack the site. Ripple down effect. We use our own encryption routine so the hell with them if they don't like it.
    We also use an encryption software for email and other documents.

     

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    identicon
    tiger, Jul 7th, 2010 @ 8:44am

    used for wrong reasons

    Its a fine line on privacy. If there is another attack and the coomunication used for terror was skype, imagine the Govt. stand. It would look as if they did nothing in preventing. But if a govt. goes too far a uses the tapping for its own benifit, thats wrong too. It all boild down to ethics in this world. Those who have power will use it.

     

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    Paul, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 2:15am

    If you don't protect your privacy, you WILL lose it

    The government can make all the laws they want and they can demand anything they want. Demanding doesn't make it happen. My daughter demands things all the time... but she doesn't always get them.

    Thunderbirg+GPG (up to 1024 bit encryption) or TrulyMail (4096 bit encryption) or Outlook+PGP (up to 1024 bit encryption) these are all solutions to keep your messages private. The government might say they have broken the encryption but I think if a cryptographer found a hole in public key cryptography they would want to publish their work and get a job making big money - rather than working for the Indian government.

    Use the tools and keep it private. It's our right.

     

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