RESEARCH IN MOTION (RIM) has stumbled from one diplomatic row to another over the security of its Blackberrys.
After skating on thin ice with Saudi Arabia, RIM is now faced with India threatening to pull the plug on it if it doesn't meet the country's security requirements.
According to Reuters sources, the Indian government and local mobile phone operators had a meeting in New Delhi to discuss Crackberry security.
The government thinks that secure e-mail and messaging services could be abused by militants. Read that backwards and it actually says the Indian government's security agencies can't access user data sent to and from RIM's devices.
India wants the Canadian company to share encryption details but RIM said that will be hard to work out. There's no master key RIM can access on Blackberrys. It claims that each user builds their own security key and RIM doesn't have back door access.
"There definitely could be talk of some deadline and a proposal to take strong action on BlackBerry services during the meeting," an Indian government source told Reuters.
Strange that that this news comes out about the same time as RIM is bending over backwards to appease Saudi Arabia on a similar issue. We reported that RIM agreed to stick a server in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and funnel all Blackberry communications in the region through it.
Now Reuters is also reporting that RIM has agreed to share user codes with Saudi Arabia. These will include unique pin numbers that will enable Saudi security agencies to read encrypted text sent via Blackberry Messenger.
Why is RIM putting India off just days after caving in to pressure in the UAE and making a deal with Saudi Arabia? We expect that this story isn't over yet. µ
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