India is sticking to its August 31st deadline for RIM to come up with a way for the government to get access to encrypted BlackBerry email. The deadline is fast approaching but there isn’t much RIM can do because as they have stated many times before: there is no master key to decrypt BlackBerry email. That would defeat the entire purpose of encryption.
In an effort to calm the situation, RIM has offered to lead an industry forum in India focused on supporting the lawful access needs of law enforcement agencies, while preserving the legitimate information security needs of corporations and other organizations in India.
The aim of the industry forum is to help RIM and the Indian government come to an understanding on policies and processes that will cut down on the misuse of encryption for malicious purposes such as terrorism, while allowing the Indian citizens the opportunity for productivity and social gains through BlackBerry’s communication technology.
Something the Indian government needs to ask itself is: “where do we draw the line with encryption?”. If the Indian government is going to insist that RIM provide access to their encryption (which as far as we know isn’t possible), then what about every other Internet service that uses encryption? Will SSL/TLS encryption be banned as well?