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UAE & snooping on smartphones

Government access to BlackBerry messages

     

Propools

8:21 pm on Aug 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I was working on a post about Google's "phone" talk feature and ran across this and am shocked to think of the implications this may have domestically. When you think of our relations with the United Arab Emirates, it's only a hop skip and a jump to have it apply to the U.S. or anywhere in the world.
The United Arab Emirates continues to wrestle with Research in Motion over government access to BlackBerry messages, threatening to ban the company's services if it doesn't severely weaken the anti-snooping protections on its smartphones..... "Everything on the Internet is encrypted," CEO Michael Lazaridis told the Wall Street Journal, slightly inaccurately. "This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." What's worrying is that the UAE may indeed have already "dealt with" the rest of the Internetójust not in the way that most of us would like.

[slate.com...]

topr8

9:47 pm on Aug 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member topr8 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



what you don't think major western governments don't already snoop on our emails, text messages and so on?
i imagine all the main european govts and the north american ones can crack almost any encryption and that they make use of this ability.

Demaestro

9:51 pm on Aug 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



This has been going on for a while. Several countries have banned BlackBerries because they can't break the encryption on the email service.

Western Govs may very well snoop all this stuff but it is clear they don't on RIM devices otherwise there would be no complaining about it from other countries claiming they can't.

stajer

10:11 pm on Aug 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



...but it is clear they don't on RIM devices...


In most western nations there is a legal process that allows governments/law enforcement to access your smartphone data. In the United States, they can get a warrant and I suspect RIM would comply without question. In that scenario, RIM doesn't have to turn over wholesale access to their encryption technology to that agency - they would decrypt the data and hand it over.

In the United States the rules are a little different if the person being investigated is in another country. For example, the NSA doesn't need a warrant to snoop on European telephone calls. They may also be allowed to listen in on phone calls or read emails without a warrant where at least one party is not in the United States.

Did you know that if you live in the United States and have blackberry email, ALL of your emails get funneled through a data center in Ontario, Canada?

In that case the question is really: Does the NSA have the technical ability to crack RIM's encryption on their own? I suspect they do. Other nations (UAE, India) do not and therefore need RIM to give them access to the data.
----

BTW - I am a 10 year loyal blackberry user.

Demaestro

2:55 am on Aug 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



In the United States, they can get a warrant and I suspect RIM would comply without question. In that scenario, RIM doesn't have to turn over wholesale access to their encryption technology to that agency - they would decrypt the data and hand it over.


According to something I read from RIM they only store the data encrypted and you need the person's device to decrypt, not even the company can decrypt it without the device.

They said they would turn over the encrypted data if ordered by a court.
 

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