The Inquirer-Home

Research in Motion denies handing over Blackberry encryption keys

Says reports from the Indian government are false
Thu Aug 02 2012, 13:55
RIM BlackBerry Bold 9900

BLACKBERRY MAKER Research in Motion (RIM) has denied reports that claim it handed over encryption keys to the Indian government.

BlackBerry BoldReports from India have claimed that RIM granted the Indian government the encryption keys to its corporate email and messaging service.

However, speaking to The INQUIRER the Blackberry maker has denied such reports, saying that it cannot provide privileged access to its enterprise services as the company itself does not own the encryption keys.

A spokesperson from the Canadian firm told us, "RIM has found it necessary to correct some false and misleading information appearing in the media in India and would like to take an opportunity to set the record straight.

"RIM is providing an appropriate lawful access solution that enables India's telecom operators to be legally compliant with respect to their BlackBerry consumer traffic, to the same degree as other smartphone providers in India, but this does not extend to secure BlackBerry enterprise communications.

"As we have stated on several occasions, and as we have set out in our company's Lawful Access Principles, RIM cannot access information encrypted through BlackBerry Enterprise Server as RIM is not ever in possession of the encryption keys."

Rik Ferguson, security chief at Trend Micro isn't convinced that the reports from India are completely false.

However, he told The INQUIRER, "This Indian government claim though is at the very edge of credibility. To think that RIM, a company who have resisted requests for backdoors in their architecture for law enforcement would hand over 'master keys' that would allow decryption of any and all traffic at will to the Indian government is a stretch too far. µ


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