India government to access Blackberry encrypted messages

Seems like another loss for privacy advocates. On a lighter note, at least Blackberry can continue to function.

CrackBerry addicts rejoice: No ban in India. For now.

At an eleventh hour meeting with government officials Monday, Research in Motion (RIM) caved in to India’s demands for access to users’ emails and other data to avoid an immediate ban on its encrypted data services.

Under the agreement, RIM will immediately implement systems to grant “lawful access by law enforcement agencies” to customer data, India’s Home Ministry said in a statement. The
regulatory bodies will evaluate the feasibility of this arrangement for the next 60 days, even as India presses forward with demands to force not only RIM, but also Google and Skype to set up servers for hosting customer accounts in India — which would facilitate easier access to private data and wire tapping of voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP) phone calls. (via Globalpost)

To be honest, I don’t think this would work. If users are really going to send something really secret, there are still ways to do that unless encryption is entirely outlawed. What if the government monitor these supposedly encrypted messages and use them to gain competitive advantage in business that they have an interest in? I would rather trust corporations than government here.

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