E-Data Privacy vs. Security Tensions Grow Globally

      Aug 17, 2010
      There are "growing tensions between communications companies and governments over how to balance privacy with national security," The New York Times reported. In addition to the recent banning of encrypted BlackBerry devices in the United Arab Emirates, NPR reported "India, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain, are reportedly considering new requirements on services like BlackBerry to ensure they can monitor electronic messages." According to an article in the Hindu Business Line, "The primary concern is that these services are highly encrypted and the security agencies do not have the technology to crack into them."

      Research In Motion (RIM), the Canada-based manufacturers of BlackBerry, told Indian officials it was willing to share certain data from “any Blackberry device which the security agencies may want to track. From this information, security agencies can determine the location of the BlackBerry server and then obtain decrypted message."

      On August 10, Saudi Arabia backed-down from its threat to shut down the BlackBerry service in the country "citing progress in talks with operators and the maker of the device over the ability to monitor encrypted messages for national security reasons," according to The New York Times.

      Also according to The New York Times, RIM denied it had cut deals to provide special access to the BlackBerry system for some countries. The article also reported RIM as saying it would not compromise the security of its system and that it complies with regulatory requirements around the world.

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