Home > BRICS, India, Indian Economy, Politics, USA > Why is Hillary Clinton talking to India on Blackberry issue

Why is Hillary Clinton talking to India on Blackberry issue


Canadian trap-doors

This is interesting!

RIM-Blackberry is a Canadian company. Their main business is to provide safe, secure and reliable system for mobile email over mobile phones. Operating in more than a 100 countries having tie ups with most mobile operators in the world.

From computerworld cartoons by John Klossner.

From computerworld cartoons by John Klossner.

India (among other countries) see a security threat with the Blackberry system due to its high encryption rate. The Blackberry system uses a AES-Triple-DES-128 bit encryption system, which cannot be broken in real-time.

Blackberry claims that they do not have any trap-doors or back-doors for access to data – which seems doubtful.

But the absence of trap-doors and back-doors is possible, as Blackberry system has not suffered from too many malware attacks or hacking of its servers.

US back-doors

The use of Blackberry system by terrorists is stoking the fears of Government of India (GOI). To get over this threat, the GOI has asked Blackberry to install Blackberry servers in India. This ensures that access to decrypted data on a real-time basis – as the data on the server resides in a decrypted form. Blackberry is resisting this solution.

From computerworld cartoons by John Klossner

From computerworld cartoons by John Klossner

“We are reaching out to those countries – the UAE, Saudi Arabia, India and others – to understand the security concerns and see if we can work collaboratively to find solutions.

“So that’s a process that is ongoing here at the Department of State. I’ve got no, you know, announcements to make at this point,” State Department spokesman P J Crowley told reporters at his daily news conference.

The United States has also been in touch with RIM, the Canadian company that operates the BlackBerry network worldwide. (via US to hold talks with India on Blackberry issue).

Blackberry is a Canadian company. A purely commercial organisation. Why is the US Government getting involved at all. In fact even the Canadian Government has no role, as far as I can see. GOI is asking Blackberry to follow the law of the land. It is security (for GOI) and a commercial decision (for RIM-Blackberry).

Are you telling me that US does not have alternatives to Blackberry for secure data transmissions!

Are you telling me that US does not have alternatives to Blackberry for secure data transmissions!

One report tries explaining the US interest

The United States has also been in touch with RIM, the Canadian company that operates the BlackBerry network worldwide.

Earlier … Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: “We are taking time to consult and analyse the full range of interests and issues at stake because we know that there is a legitimate security concern, but there’s also a legitimate right of free use and access. So, I think we will be pursuing both technical and expert discussions as we go forward.”

If some of these countries follow through on the BlackBerry ban that they have announced, it would have an impact on the US government and its diplomats operating in different countries.

A case of severe crackberry

Now would the US Secretary of State be involved if Blackberry usage for some 2000 diplomats was affected? Two things.

One – the Indian Government would be able check on all Blackberry emails that US diplomats are sending via Blackberry. That will mean US diplomats will need to send encrypted mails over internet – which is not such a difficulty.

Two – This reminds me of the Australian-PM’s-speech-copied-by-Canadian-PM’s-speechwriter scandal.

Give me a good story otherwise.

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  1. September 3, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    I think you should take out the “terrorists using blackberry” part. They’ve always used satellite phones as far as I’ve read.

  2. September 3, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    That is what GOI is claiming! What is interesting is the involvement of US Govt.

    Makes one wonder …

  3. A fan of your blog
    September 3, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Anuraag,

    I agree with you. I am not sure why the US Government needs to get involved. As you mention, it may be the fact that GoI may now get access to all emails sent by governments of other countries, including the USA.

    Blackberry messenger has been used by terrorists to stay in touch, as has been reported by the media. Since it is encrypted info, GoI cannot track these communications down. I agree that the GoI is right in asking for access to all data since it poses a threat to national security. It is part of good vigilance practice.

  4. Narayana
    September 3, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Humorous account on what is happening at Blackberry GOI Information Sharing plan
    http://wp.me/p4GAw-3B

  5. pravin
    September 7, 2010 at 5:12 am

    nonsense.any terrorist worth his salt will not use blackberry or any hi profile communication device. the simplest and oldest method is creating an email account and not sending the email -just composing and saving the mail in draft.
    the RIM brouhaha is about insecure babus trying to show who is the boss.
    i cant believe you fell for this trap. yes,the US may be a hypocritical country that pretends to speak for freedom of speech while snooping on everyone else.
    that doesnt mean that certain babus and netas should get access to indian public’s data.
    always be afraid of a few elite getting access to other people’s data.

  6. September 7, 2010 at 6:21 am

    I am only curious about one thing –

    Why is the US, at the level of Hillary Clinton, getting involved in a matter that is (to my small mind) a small issue?

    To me that is intriguing!

    I am not supporting /objecting /rejecting /interjecting to GOI on this count! The State by its nature will do all what you are saying! No surprise there!

  7. September 28, 2010 at 10:57 am

    I have been thinking .. and I see a marked degree of margin that you are willing to give to the US Government. While being overtly critical of the US, you dont want that ‘equality’ within Governments. I think given a bad choice between the US Government with its record of killings and imprisonment, and the ‘inefficiency’ of the Indian Government, the risk of abuse of private data is much lesser with the Indian Government.

    I wonder why this dual standards!

  1. September 3, 2010 at 7:49 pm

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