The military grade encryption, once proudly boasted by BlackBerry appears to have been compromised, albeit lawfully, revealed a document from the state’s Department of Telecommunications. The official wordings were, ‘The lawful interception system for Blackberry Services is ready for use’.
If this information holds sufficient validity, then it is indeed a somewhat gloomy ending to the strong resistance BlackBerry has exhibited in protecting the privacy of its customers. But the company’s enterprise customers need not fret about their privacy, since the company has carefully set aside provision that won’t allow Government authorities to intercept or monitor such category of customers. This was evident from the official statement,
“As informed earlier BlackBerry has delivered a solution that enables India’s wireless carriers to address their lawful access requirements for our consumer messaging services, which include BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) email. The lawful access capability now available to BlackBerry’s carrier partners meets the standard required by the Government of India for all consumer messaging services offered in the Indian marketplace. We also wish to underscore, once again, that this enablement of lawful access does not extend to BlackBerry Enterprise Server.”
Why has BlackBerry mellowed its stand?
The once iconic company, especially for large institutions who swore by the highest standard of data protection & encryption, has steadily lost its appeal owing to slower than expected innovation. BlackBerry has always been in the crosshairs of Government officials not just in India, but other countries as well.
Citing security concerns regarding the secure anonymity, the enterprise grade encryption offered, Governments have been pressurizing not just this smartphone maker, but others like Nokia, Google, Skype, Microsoft, etc. Such multiple impacts have to be diminished quickly & eliminated, if the smartphones sales have to revive.
Image Courtesy | blackberryempire