Over the last couple of weeks, there has been some hooplah about BlackBerry being banned in various countries because governments can’t engage in lawful interception, but it seems like all of the big ones are starting to get what they want. Saudi Arabia had announced that a tentative solution was in place, and more recently sources say that a fix is ready to go in India, and that good progress is being made in the United Arab Emirates.
The United Arab Emirates was the first country to voice any security concerns in this latest rash, although India had the same problems of lawful interception a few years ago. India’s solution has been described as “partial access” to BlackBerry Messenger data starting September 1, which may alone be enough satisfy the Department of Telecommunications. I’m curious why the same needs wouldn’t be applied to e-mail or browser data, but one way or the other, RIM has disavowed any knowledge of such a deal. The United Arab Emirates ambassador to the U.S. says “good progress” is being made with RIM for finding a solution, but doesn’t really go into specifics.
Considering Saudi Arabia’s fix was to install local BlackBerry servers for each of the three carriers (which would be under local jurisdiction), the same method may be implemented in other countries, but RIM has held firm on the conditions under which it would yield to lawful interception. Overall, this a pretty positive note to what has been a dramatic and dour situation for RIM and BlackBerry, but one can only hope that data privacy hasn’t taken too much of a hit in the process.
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