Indian Government Still Asking for Backdoor to BlackBerry Service

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The Indian government has been asking for a backdoor to BlackBerry email for some time now. The Indian Intelligence Services see BlackBerry as a security threat because it allows individuals to communicate over a secure network without the government monitoring the chatter. In the past, the Indian government asked RIM to give them a backdoor to the infrastructure so they could monitor the system but RIM denied them this feature. It doesn’t make any sense for RIM to offer a backdoor because it sets a presedence for weakening the security for governments which is the device’s competitive advantage.

Recently, the Indian Department of Telecom (DoT) has put RIM and Skype on a potential ban list unless they make data going through their networks available to security agencies in a readable format.

“DoT will call the representatives of Research In Motion (manufacturer of Blackberry devices) and Skype and ask them to ensure that the content going through the telecom service providers is in readable format. They have to ensure that this is implemented within 15 days failing which services that do not allow lawful interception on a real-time basis would be blocked/banned,” said an internal Government note.

It’s an interesting conundrum because on the one hand, users shouldn’t feel like the government is watching them, but on the other hand, there is a more present threat of terrorism in India than in most countries. It’s a common “Big Brother” argument. Should you let the government spy on citizens for the greater good, or ban it outright out of principle?

  • Eric at Ebscer

    It would help RIM's reputation to not give in…

  • Sikandar Aftab

    Not happening India, sorry. RIM's security is probably the strongest leg it's standing on right now, especially in the enterprise sector. RIM saying no to governments and having it appear in the news continually is just free marketing for their credibility as an organization.

  • Jack

    RIM would never bow down to a fascist corrupt government, no matter what country it is. Same with Skype and Gmail, whom the government is threatening. Its a shame the government has fallen to such low and disgraceful levels.

  • Gossip Girl

    I don't know what to say. It sucks to be an Indian, with all the crumbling infrastructure and corruption, and now this.

  • Hecathorn

    is it the India government asking for the backdoor or is it actually Israel advicing them to do so.

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