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.
“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?