Government Pressure in Motion

Research In Motion has proposed a forum to examine ways for the smart phone industry to support the lawful access needs of law enforcement agencies while respecting the security needs of corporations.

An article on the Washington Post website says the BlackBerry maker faces increasing demand by some governments to grant them access to encrypted data, stored in people’s phones, that deals with security and political threats. RIM has received such a request from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and more recently by the government of India, which says it will shut down RIM’s services in the country unless the company provides access to encrypted data.

The article mentions a particular challenge: “the apparent lack of technological understanding that drives some governments to demand a ‘back-door key’ to encrypted files, a technology that RIM itself does not possess, or to insist that RIM must locate servers inside their countries to make monitoring easier, a response that would have no effect on the ease of access to RIM’s global system.”

While governments have legitimate concerns about privacy and security, conceding too soon to their demands would be unfair to BlackBerry’s customers as people perform an increasing range of tasks on their mobile phones, says the article.

To read the Washington Post article, click here: