Desperate RIM Gives In And Lets Indian Gov't Spy On Blackberry Communications
from the impossible-doesn't-mean-what-it-used-to dept
Back in 2008, we wrote about how the Indian government was demanding that RIM let it snoop on encrypted messages from Blackberry users. RIM’s response was that it was simply impossible to snoop on its enterprise customers’ messages, since they set their own encryption keys. A few months later, the government claimed to have cracked RIM’s encryption, though the whole claim was sketchy. In 2010, the government again demanded the right to spy on Blackberry users (raising more questions about that encryption cracking claim). RIM apparently offered up a “solution” that the Indian government rejected, because it didn’t let them snoop enough (basically it allowed snooping on consumers, but not corporate accounts).
Now, however, there are reports that RIM has come up with a “solution” to let the Indian government spy on enterprise users as well:
RIM recently demonstrated a solution developed by a firm called Verint that can intercept messages and emails exchanged between BlackBerry handsets, and make these encrypted communications available in a readable format to Indian security agencies, according to an exchange of communications between the Canadian company and the Indian government.
If you’re a RIM Blackberry customer, and you bought into it because of the security features, now would be the point where you get pretty pissed off and start seeking alternatives. The report from the Economic Times suggests RIM did this because of the “importance” of the Indian market. RIM is clearly in trouble. Its failure to keep up on the innovation front means that the company is clearly struggling. But kowtowing to a government by allowing it to spy on users is hardly the sort of thing that’s likely to get you more customers. It seems like it should do exactly the opposite.