My maths isn't the best...
...but isn't that one sixth of the world's population* losing privacy in one fell swoop?
* I know they don't all have BlackBerrys.
Research In Motion is finally set to offer the Indian authorities a permanent system for access to its consumer-focused messaging services with the installation of new Mumbai-based servers. The Times of India was given a government briefing on the matter. It claimed that the servers have been inspected by government officials …
Your maths also didn't stretch to the budgetary considerations. Governments all over the World are looking to stretch their pennies, they actually don't want to waste money on monitoring anyone other than those really thought to be a threat. Seriously, the CIA/NSA/MI6/etc couldn't give a fig about the majority of "activists" screaming about their privacy, they're simply not worth the money of investigating. The Indians have asked for access upon request, not blanket monitoring.
>If the intelligence agencies there suspect terrorist or other serious illegal activity is being conducted.
When they say terrorism/illegal activity do they not really mean the capacity to snoop on all and sundry at their whim.
I imagine that for the governements it is far more "profitable" to snoop on business, other governmental employees, the "competition" than it is to learn that some terrorist unit might actually be planning to make a home made pipe bomb..
I would suggest a handwringer like yourself best go read the following, just to get an idea of the problems the Indian authorities face in protecting the Indian people and the many visitors to their country: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism_in_India
It's all fine whining on about "the right to personal privacy", but there's not much point to privacy if you'vre been blown up or shot.
1 : Are terrorists really in the habit of texting, BB messenging their plans in clear text or deciferable code.
2 : How is spooking telephone conversations/messenging tackling the real problems behind that are the cause of the terrorism.
3 : Believe it or not the bad guys actually know they are being snooped upon which then becomes an excellent tool for disinformation.
4 : Terrorism has become the defacto "buzzword" in order that governments gain access to all and any information.
5 : I did not mention or whine about "the right to personal privacy" but now that you mention it , I do not agree with their tactics, I believe in the principal that we all have the right to a minimum of privacy. We don't invade the MP/Police/Nanny State lives why should they invade ours...
The root and cause of the problems are not being handled so one must ask oneself, "What are the real reasons for their actions".
1. How do you know? For all you know they could be serious BBM adicts. You don't, so stop pretending you do. And if they were using BBs up until now, now the simple news that the Indians can request access will mean they will have to dump their handsets and go get a new means of secure communication. Prevention is better than a cure. Please note teh Indians have not setup blanket monitoring of all BB communictaions, simply demanded access to specific accounts upon request. Go buy a sense of proportion.
2. The Indian anti-terrorist teams aren't interested in solving "the causes of terrorism", just with preventing acts of terrorism. They would probably like to leave the causes argument to the politicians.
3. Good, now they'll have to give up another means of communication and find a new one. All of which makes their lives harder (and hopefully a lot shorter).
4. What you just said has become the defacto whine for anyone complaining about any form of law enforcement of the "Wild West" Internet and telecoms. Usually not because people like you are criminal hackers or terrorists, but just beacuse someone spoonfed you a load of "all governments are evil" junk and it gave you a cause. Seriously, if all people were nice then we wouldn't even need police, courts or laws, but people are not all nice, that is the simple reality of the matter.
5. You are simply too stupid for words. The police in just about every country I can think of can get warrants to search all other forms of communication or property, why on Earth do you think that telecoms should be different?
"Intelligence Bureau director Nehchal Sandhu admitted to the paper that such corporate communications were not of “high concern” anyway from a security standpoint."
Government access to information is like tax revenue. It never decreases overall. Banks use BB. So do lots of other social sites. They would love to get their hands on raw finance info and know who knows who. After all they are protecting us from terrorists. What a noble goal.
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." ~ Benjamin Franklin