05 August 2010

Blackberry Standoff - Who Will Win? Are They Right? How About a Solution?

In a world where information flows freely and access to content has never been easier we should all be concerned at those governments who seek to demand free access to our data and information.

So the standoff between RIM vs UAE, KSA and India over the access to the encryptions standards of RIM is a very worrying trend. At the heart of the matter is the ability to encrypt data traffic and protect data.

Most smartphones like Apple and Android devices have very poor encryption and as a result anyone sending messages from these devices can have their data and text messages hacked. AND their location easily made available. If you want to read a sobering report on the subject go here.

With recent reports of the easy (and low cost) methods of hacking cell phone traffic becoming more prevalent - the need for secure services like Blackberry grow.

I sign a lot of NDAs and keep a lot of information confidential. I use my email smartphone - a Blackberry - to communicate under the terms of those agreements. If I am forced to use unprotected communication I will be in violation of the said agreement. This is unacceptable to me and to the people who trust me.

In my view Blackberry is right to keep the data secure.

So here is an idea and thought for resolving the problem. If RIM and the respective governments agree to a private data viewing capability under strict control and with full cognizance of the individuals who are using the service then I am OK with letting the respective governments see what I have. I will of course be very careful not to let those governments see data I don't want them to see.

So here is a challenge to the governments who are asking for open access to Blackberrys just like they can to iPhones and Android devices. I'll let you see my data so that you can be assured I am not doing anything bad. But you have to assure me that you can monitor your own people and protect my data once you have it.

Deal or No Deal?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In the end, the governments will prevail.

I'd say with a pretty high degree of certainty that the US government has access to the encryption back door - basically the governments of the UAE and KSA are asking for the same thing.