back to article India threatens to ban 1m BlackBerrys

The Indian government is meeting with its network operators tomorrow, and is fully prepared to ban BlackBerry services if a timetable for lawful interceptions can't be established. Until now India has been following the negotiated route, trying to convince RIM to allow its security forces access to BlackBerry communications. …


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  1. Slx

    Should we add India to a list of business unfriendly nations then?

    Blackberries, iPhones and other e-mail enabled mobile devices are pretty core to many business travellers' day-to-day lives. I could see quite a lot of people re-thinking hosting conferences or meetings in any country that has a blanket ban on a Blackberry devices.

    This will just damage the Indian economy and tag it as somewhere that's unfriendly to internet technology.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      @Slx, 11th August 2010 10:31 GMT

      business people won't try to make money because their BlackBerry isn't working? get real.

      business people will change their phone and/or find other means to access their emails on the road before they decide to re-think visiting a country that bans the BlackBerry.

      BlackBerry is just a phone, nothing more.

      for the record, should India and/or China ban the BlackBerry, I assure you that my boss will still visit both countries and would simply change his phone. If he had to chose between the BlackBerry and a business deal, the BlackBerry will be out of the window in a heartbeat.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      We should recognise India as a country very much under the threat of terrorism

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Certified silly

      No really mister...

      Could you just compare the number of blackberry subscribers in Saudi and India.

      You would know and btw, them terrorists seem to be using BB.

      Would u like to host a conference where the terrorist is carrying a blackberry and is exchanging messages in secure mode.

  2. DavCrav

    Totally pointless now

    Now you've told everyone that you will be able to access all Blackberry e-mails, nobody doing bad things is going to send them that way. Duh.

    If you'd have negotiated in secret and the company put out the statement in the annual report that nobody reads, maybe you would have got some useful info.

    1. Lionel Baden

      doubt it

      People are too lazy !

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I'm Sure

        All those bigwigs, travelling over to India to negotiate IT contracts, are going to love learning that the Indian government can read all their "secure" corporate communications.

  3. Eden

    It may damage India...

    IF Rim don't capitulate, but given this seems inevitable I wouldn't say so.

  4. Peter Clarke 1
    Big Brother

    Yes, Minister ...

    ... and when do you want your own server installed??

    RIM might as well start phoning all governments now to make the arrangements as it's obvious they'll fold at the least sign of resistance.

  5. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    When Encryption Is Outlawed...

    ...only outlaws will have encryption. ...Rallying Cry during the NSA/PKC wars, stolen, of course from the gun folk.

    The USA can't be far behind or already has something in place, since federal law requires carriers to provide messages on warrant.

    Big business will find other ways to transmit sensitive data, they will not trust flaky governments to be leakproof.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      USA probably already has a deal.

      RIM is based in Canada, and in terms of security, Canada and the USA are on speaking terms, so it's likely Canada will pass along a warrant from the USA if it's within reason.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        "Within reason?"

        Since when has the Canadian government needed a reason? The conservatives are in power, which means that when the US says jump, Canada says "on what vector?"

        Disgusting, really...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Blatant snooping..

    I am not sure how I feel about these proceedings, on one hand I like the fact that governments are not attempting to hide their ability to review all your email data but on the hand I am starting to get that Winston Smith type of feeling...

    Hmmm ignorance is bliss, damn you El Reg for edumacating me!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Would you all...

    form an orderly queue, please? Thank you.

    Any bets on how long before all (major) markets have their own RIMberry servers in place?

  8. JaitcH

    RIM is quickly losing it's advantage

    The major factor in opting for RIM, apart from it's thumb exercising keyboard, was security.

    Where is Phil Zimmerman when we need him?

    We need a multi-platform e-mail client that offers plain and encrypted communications and elected use of encryption would likely go unnoticed. BTW, please drop the file header - it's too obvious!

  9. Anonymous Coward


    The USA has significant influence on Canada and they have the NSA, so they can read all the emails around the world.

    However, doesn't the UK want to be able to intercept Blackberry emails - how come they don't insist on servers being here as well ? I doubt the NSA passes on commercial/industrial information (e.g. to allow the UK to be aware of deals such as that launced by Kraft foods).

    1. Piers

      Already here...

      RIM already run servers in the UK, see other article for details.

    2. EvilGav 1

      Mentioned In Earlier Stories . . .

      . . . RIM already have servers in the UK.

    3. JaitcH

      ECHELON is the answer

      The countries who are signatory to the ECHELON interception network can always claim to 'never spy on their own citizens' by having other members do the work for them. Bit with the Patriot Act the U.S. government is vacuuming all forms of communications in the USA, and world-wide, which is really self-defeating as analysis is falling way, way behind that results in the Detroit would-be bomber getting a visa, or flights in mid-At;antic either being turned around or told to land in Maine.

      Besides, there are RIM servers physically located in the UK (distributed processing).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For some reason..

    people respect Saudi even after it carries out actions like that of North Korea. I wonder if that has anything to do with money or oil? Anyway Well done India. more and more like the norks every day. just made my no business list.

  11. Mr Pedantio

    Forgive me

    ... but why just Blackberries? I know the BB is unique in using push email, but it still goes over the same networks and protocols as other net traffic, doesn't it? If you're an evil regime (and I'm still absorbing the news that India has joined the UK in this regard), surely you'd intercept at the network level rather than implement a separate solution for each type of transaction. If I were a BB user, couldn't I just switch to using encrypted webmail?

    Maybe I'm missing some intrinsic difference in the way they work. Or are these governments only just waking up to mobile devices in general?

    In any case, RIM's behaviour seems eminently boycott-worthy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Forgive me - OK, forgiven

      "If I were a BB user, couldn't I just switch to using encrypted webmail?"

      BB devices encrypt traffic back to the Blackberry servers - which are located in the USA or the UK. This is good for the UK and USA but not so good for other countries. Some countries prohibit the use of encryption in communications that terminate outside the country (unless they can break the encryption). Try using a form of encryption that the NSA cannot crack from within the USA and see how long it takes for the Feds to visit :-)

      The other issue is that if all the Blackberry traffic is terminated in the USA or UK, it follows that those two countries might be reading mail of people in other countries. This might be why the German government has been telling some of their departments that Blackberries should not be used for government business.

      1. dux
        Thumb Up

        Re: Forgive me - OK, forgiven

        RIM servers are primarily in Canada, not the U.S.

        All other locations with servers are secondary, as RIM is a Canadian company.

        Personally, I think this should be viewed as a marketing opportunity where RIM could start selling 'node' servers for $100,000 each.

  12. tempemeaty

    They will buy no more....

    ...and in the last days...the people would no longer buy the goods of the worlds merchants...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missing the point

    India: seems to be somewhere in Kansas

    UAE: seems to be in the UK

    Saudi Arabia: also appears to be in the UK

    Maybe the authorities in the countries concerned are less worried about reading the emails of their citizens than they are worried that other countries' intelligence services may be reading their citizens emails - including those in government or the military. If the servers are located in the country from which the Blackberries are connecting, such interception might be more difficult to achieve without someone noticing....

    Looking at this a different way, if RIM was a Russian company, how many of you would like to have your emails transit servers in Russia?

  14. David 45

    Indian business

    I would hazard a guess that there will be a distinct downturn in business being done with India and SA in the future.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Scaremongering to excuse spying

    Oh come on, Blackberries are not terrorist "standard issue". Terrorists would go to great lengths to try and conceal their communications, which means its unlikely they'd take it on trust that RIM protects their comms anyway. Terrorism is a great excuse to bludgeon privacy rights.

    As we've seen here with our UK surveillance laws which were paraded as a tool to fight terrorism, for the most part they've been abused to spy on local citizens sending their kids to the wrong school, or not picking up their doggie litter etc..

    I have absolutely no doubt that access to the electronic missives of ones political or business opponents are a far more tantalizing prospect and that "terrorism" is simply a way to sweep opposition under the carpet.

    "What do you mean you're concerned? You're not a filthy terrorist are you?"

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