When we heard that the French were against BlackBerrys for government use due to security concerns, we were a little confused: weren’t they designed to be secure devices for exactly this type of use? To recap, the French are worried that their intelligence data is vulnerable to interception by British and American operatives (data from French BlackBerrys is routed through severs at RIM NOCs in the US and UK). However, RIM says that to be successful, the culprits would have to use hundreds of computers running at over 100 GHz for millions of years.
An interesting article from World Politics Review sheds some light on the conflicting reports. Pointing to the French government’s previous attempts to halt iPod marketing in order to allow domestic companies to develop competitive technologies, WPR indicates that the French may be hoping that raising concerns about information transmitted over BlackBerrys would encourage more French people to rely on electronics manufactured and managed by French companies.
Apparently, it’s not working. The French media is reporting that the substitute device offered by the French government is not as efficient as the BlackBerry, leading some French civil servants to use their BlackBerrys in secret. It just goes to show that, despite political agendas, it’s hard to separate a government worker from their BlackBerry.