back to article Clinton barrels in to BlackBerry brouhaha

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reckons there is a "right to free use and access" that could be infringed by countries banning BlackBerrys. The US government steps into the argument as concern over the difficulties of intercepting BlackBerry communications continues to spread, with Lebanon being the latest country to …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. jake Silver badge

    I find this whole bruhaha to be amusing :-)

    Governments are so far behind the curve ... Seriously, since when were Crackberrys actually considered "secure" in the first place?

  2. dndlion

    servers in slough

    Perhaps because they have a bloody big office here?

  3. collateral damage


    It may be a good idea to ask RIM what " therefore provides access to messages in response to legitimate requests from law enforcement." actually means. What is legitimate. Can the NSA request informations about my inner UK mails and phone calls? Does it have to be signed by a judge or is a "more informal" request by security agencies/police/whatever sufficient for RIM to hand over data? Come on El Reg ask the question.

  4. smudge

    Very droll

    The US lecturing other countries on "rights". Guantanamo Bay is still open, isn't it?

    Why don't they invite the King of Saudi and the United Arab Emirs to appear in front of a senatorial committee to explain their decisions?

    (None of which means that I support the ban.)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    I am a valid title

    >> US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reckons there is a "right to free use and access" that could be infringed by countries banning BlackBerrys.

    this is coming from the Secretary of State of the country that can (and do) hold people prisoners without trail (for security reasons) for as long as it wants! the hypocrisy.


    Carts and Horses?

    "Governments have long complained about encryption preventing them providing security."

    Citizens and businesses have long complained about Governments failing to uphold communication privacy/security/integrity, and so they resort to strong encryption for their own protection.

    Governments can't have their cake and eat it.

    Make communications secure against unlawful espionage, or face encryption. Its a simple black and white choice.

  7. Bakunin
    Big Brother

    "Legitimate right of free use and access."

    I cant help but wonder if they encourage the use of Blackberrys because they have RIM in their pockets in exchange for government contracts.

    Considering the wide spread use of the Blackberry in business and politics it would be useful to sit on RIMs servers and siphon off all the data that comes through.

  8. JaitcH

    The ONLY reason that the US would step up to the plate for a Canadian ...

    is because the U.S. has easy access to the RIM servers - the US, Canada and the UK are all members of Echelon - and the Bin Laden type comms they are desperate for. No more convenient ways exist than to access high quality data, with or without RIM's cooperation. than RIM servers rather traipsing around to all those e-mail servers dotted around the globe.

    Nothing but nothing beats independently sourced encryption software - RIM's scrambling techniques and keys are common to all BlackBerries other than Obama's customised units.

    Using software applied to individual handsets makes it hard for centralised monitoring as the odd encrypted call might easily be passed off as a bad connection if detected at any point. Using two handsets at each end of the conversation, one at each end used on different carrier networks

    Perhaps using PGP products provide the best solution.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    fishing trips

    At least having a secure connection to a private companies servers reduces the chance you get caught in some government fishing trip where they just sample a big band of traffic and nick anyone who sends anything suspicious looking.

  10. Tigra 07

    Twinned with?

    I hear it's so bad that people in Afghanistan tell their kids they'll send 'em to Slough if they don't behave.

    1. dogged


      The worst thing about Slough is that you're unlikely to die there. Even though you'll really, really want to.

  11. The Cube

    This will be the Clinton calling the Pot Black then


    The administration that denied export of PGP and tried to enforce the clipper chip "encryption" upon the global market so that their forces of darkness, sorry CIA and justice department, could intercept anything they wanted whenever they wanted without anyone else's knowledge or permission.

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha, perhaps they could lecture us on human rights or data privacy (SWIFT) or foreign policy whilst they have the hypocrisy hat on?

  12. The Indomitable Gall

    And in other news...

    US bootlegger William S. McCoy reckons there is a "right to free use and access" that could be infringed by countries banning home distillation of hard spirits.

    Welsh former drug smuggler Howard "Mr Nice" Marks reckons there is a "right to free use and access" that could be infringed by countries banning narcotic substances.

    ElReg flying car correspondent Lewis Page reckons there is a "right to free use and access" that could be infringed by countries banning the export of F22s.

    The simple fact of the matter is that every country makes laws that balance security and public health against freedom of choice and privacy.

    It's a bit rich to be slagging off Pakistan for supporting terrorists while simultaneously trying to force India into a position where they can't monitor terrorists....

  13. Mr Grumblefish

    Wrong Clinton

    Next thing you'll be blaming Hillary for the stains on that dress.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    That's what I suspected

    Thanks, JaitcH. I was suspecting along these lines but failed to understand the details. Sadly the article is more rethoric than explanatory: you explained the whole issue in a single word: Echelon.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We know that there is a legitimate security concern"

    ... in allowing people free and private communications? Only legitimate in the eyes of politicians!!

  16. John Sanders
    Big Brother

    Am I the only one...

    Who thinks this is one of the most fcuking ridiculous history of the entire IT History.

    So one Canadian company happens to have a well designed device that happens to offer some degree of privacy.

    Then governments complain using the argument that the encryption on the device is so well done that in places they can not intercept it.

    Cool. I would expect non-democratic countries (you know those that did not contribute anything to human progress for a hundred years or more) complain about it. But the democratic ones too? that's too much...

    Now someone would say to me that the democratic countries enjoy spying on their own citizens? And agreeing with the non-democratic ones on the spying methods.

    I'm off to the pub, my brain needs to forget.

  17. Eddy Ito

    There's the rub

    "... the company therefore provides access to messages in response to legitimate requests from law enforcement"

    Thereby nullifying the whole point of encrypting in the first place.

    As for Clinton's "legitimate right of free use and access", I have wonder if she understands that denying use and access is the primary function of most US gubber-mental agencies, DHS, FCC and FDA come immediately to mind. Typically under the auspices of protection or "for the children" but in reality, not so much.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is a title ?

    Let em have access, free and across the board. The end result will be a culling of the low hanging fruit, the ones too stupid to take precautions against interception. If any terrorist orgainisation is dumb enough to rely on RIM for encryption then they deserve to be wiped out.

    For all the Daily Mail readers out there, the above statement is not a statement of policy but a poor attempt at humour and may not be copy/pasted into the letters page.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    What is legitimate

    I think there are probably a lot of issues around what different countries consider legitimate. Many western nations have very similar perspectives and thus don't have an issue with the current setup.

    I can't imagine anyone in North America who would be willing to continue using BB if they knew that their data could be arbitrarily read by the government of countries that stone people to death for moral crimes, or arrest tourist for "immodest dress".

  20. Eduard Coli

    Lost in translation

    Hillary has forgotten that she is Sec. of State in the US and not North America.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Right to use and access? says you and what army?

    Oh, and what's her stance on widespread warrantless wiretapping? That's fine? Why?

    Countries are free to lay down the law as they see fit. Though other countries often don't see it that way and pressure each other to take over their pet laws. Sometimes "freedom" flavoured, sometimes "commerce" or "religion" flavoured. Or even "massive bigcorp greed" flavoured. Or all of the above, at the same time. The country dear ms. Clinton hails from is a major exporter of laws and ideology, like it or not. And a wholesale violator of everybody else's rights, too, but I digress. Anyway, we can always ask her what inalienable right she invented some other country is somehow taking away from their very own citizens. The rationale, such as it is, might even be amusing. In a lookit-dem-politicos sort of way. But then, I take what I can get these days.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like