Government bill could hurt smartphone industry and economy

A recent article about BlackBerry security has highlighted a bill proposed by Liberal MP Marlene Jennings has me concerned for both RIM and other smartphone manufacturers in Canada. The bill will force internet and wireless providers to use technology that can be tapped.

This past winter, Jennings re-tabled a 2005 Liberal bill that would force wireless service providers to make their devices intercept-ready. The bill, the Modernization of Investigative Techniques Act (MITA), had died when the 2006 election was called, but Jennings had re-introduced it as a private member’s bill once before, in 2007.

Univeristy of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist explains exactly why this bill frightens me. Legitimate customers might be reluctant to use mobile email devices if they knew their communications could be intercepted. Enterprise relies on secure data in order to protect their intellectual property and Marlene Jannings’ bill threatens this security.

“There’s obviously many businesses that are willing to use these devices because they’re comfortable with the security attached to them,” said Geist, who holds a Canada Research Chair of internet and e-commerce law.

To view the video of the news story, click the above pic or go here.

If this bill also concerns you, you can contact Liberal MP Marlene Jennings through her site here.


3 Responses to “Government bill could hurt smartphone industry and economy”

  1. 1 Dan M

    If I knew your distaste for “liberals” was so fierce, I never would have subscribed to your blog. As a result, I now no longer do. Maybe tempering your clear political vitriol would be in better taste for future publications.

  2. 2 Kyle

    I actually have no problem with the Liberal party as a whole. Just this one particular MP’s bill.

  3. 3 Andreas

    It is interesting though when you think about the security model and what these devices are primarily used for; email.
    In almost all use cases (apart from ussing personal certificates) as soon as the email leaves the organisation, its readable as plain text anyway.
    So…the only totally secure communication is anything that doesn’t leave the BES or the same mail server

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