RIM Questions India’s BlackBerry Encryption Worries

http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/encryption/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=208401643

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (NSDQ: RIMM) told the Indian
government Monday that lowering the encryption level of its smartphones’
services will not solve the country’s security concerns because there
are other companies offering similar systems.

Indeed.
And in addition there are all the other encrypted services like PGP, S/MIME and any form of encryption tool you choose to download, never mind things like Skype.

I won’t even go into matters such as sending telegrams or conventional phone calls with code phrases, and other techniques that proved efficacious in the first half of the 20th century and prior to that.

Officials in New Delhi said they were concerned that because these
e-mails couldn’t be intercepted, militants could be using BlackBerry
services to coordinate terrorist attacks.

It seems odd to my mind that the highly terrorist-sensitive security forces of the USA are not also demanding RIM hand over a master key.
Is it because the NSA have cracked AES-256?

I doubt it. Its more likely that the value of business communications to the economy outweighs the risk of terrorists remaining undetected and using modern technology to communicate.

As the article goes on to say …

But during a presentation to India’s Department of Telecommunications,
RIM pointed to four other mobile e-mail systems in the country —
Windows Mobile ActiveSync, Nokia Intellisync, Motorola’s Good, and Seven
Networks — that utilize similar encryption.Because these other services are widely available, RIM contends that the government would have to also take actions against those companies
instead of singling out RIM.

Quite so. And it would have to ban and take enforcing action to deal with other forms of secure communication. And lets face it, the cold war showed that wasn’t feasible.

Do we have another example of governments emphasising ELINT when they should be developing HUMINT?

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