Now India is threatening to pull the plug on about 1-million Blackberry users, saying it will block encrypted mail and messenger services if its law enforcement agencies aren't able to monitor them.
The Indian Home Ministry has issued a statement that it will take steps to block these two services [encrypted corporate e-mail and messenger] from the network if a technical solution is not provided by 31 August.
Blackberry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) has responded as follows:
"In response to the statement published today by the Government of India, and further to RIM’s Customer Update dated August 2, RIM wishes to provide this additional information to its customers.
"Although RIM cannot disclose confidential regulatory discussions that take place with any government, RIM assures its customers that it genuinely tries to be as cooperative as possible with governments in the spirit of supporting legal and national security requirements, while also preserving the lawful needs of citizens and corporations.
"RIM has drawn a firm line by insisting that any capabilities it provides to carriers for “lawful” access purposes be limited by four main principles:
* The carriers’ capabilities be limited to the strict context of lawful access and national security requirements as governed by the country's judicial oversight and rules of law.
* The carriers’ capabilities must be technology and vendor neutral, allowing no greater access to BlackBerry consumer services than the carriers and regulators already impose on RIM’s competitors and other similar communications technology companies.
* No changes to the security architecture for BlackBerry Enterprise Server customers since, contrary to any rumours, the security architecture is the same around the world and RIM truly has no ability to provide its customers’ encryption keys. Also driving RIM’s position is the fact that strong encryption is a fundamental commercial requirement for any country to attract and maintain international business anyway and similarly strong encryption is currently used pervasively in traditional VPNs on both wired and wireless networks in order to protect corporate and government communications.
* RIM maintains a consistent global standard for lawful access requirements that does not include special deals for specific countries."