backtop


Print 18 comment(s) - last by jimbojimbo.. on Mar 27 at 3:32 PM

Indian authorities want ability to monitor Blackberry traffic for reasons of security

Some would say it’s not every day that a government gives a mobile phone service provider an ultimatum to either give in or give up, but recently, censorship and government snooping have become more common than in past decades.

Recently, the Indian government demanded that telecom providers allow government authorities to monitor traffic flowing through their networks for terrorist activities. According to a Business Standard post, the Indian government asked a number of telecommunications companies to open up their networks to monitor Blackberry-based traffic or face shutdown throughout the country within 15 days.

Indian government authorities proposed that each service provider work out the details with Blackberry licensor Research in Motion before this 15-day period.

DailyTech contacted RIM's media relations and received the following statement, "RIM operates in more than 130 countries around the world and respects the regulatory requirements of governments. RIM does not comment on confidential regulatory matters or speculation on such matters in any given country."

If RIM and service providers offering Blackberry services comply with the government's demands, it will mean roughly 400,000 Blackberry users will be left without service such as email and messaging. According to India's Minister of Communications and Information Technology, the security of the nation of India is their top priority even if it means that telecom companies will be shut down if they do not let government authorities in and monitor traffic freely.

India is not the first government to demand the ability to monitor telecom traffic. Recently, U.S. government agencies, such as the NSA, have been the center for discussion and legal battles regarding wiretapping. The U.S. Senate has also gone so far as to pass a bill that would give telecoms that cooperate with U.S. agencies in warrant-less wiretapping and other illegal monitoring activities immunity from lawsuits.

Since India has a different legal process than the United States, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology may have a better chance of getting its way with Indian telecoms and consumers.





Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

encryption ?
By tanishalfelven on 3/27/2008 12:37:35 AM , Rating: 1
when will these goverments learn.
terrorists do not use weak methods of communication.

i highly doubt if it terrorist is on his black berry emailing "where should i blow up"

even if he is he will use some form of encryption. a simple 2048 bit gpg based encryption can be set up by a child and it would be impossible to hack. (atleast in time even if NSA does know something we all don't).

all these spying things do is take away the normal persons rights.




RE: encryption ?
By Omega215D on 3/27/2008 6:28:49 AM , Rating: 3
They're not looking for terrorists, they're looking for Jason Bourne. =D


RE: encryption ?
By Darkskypoet on 3/27/2008 8:22:07 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly... This issue came up in one of our Honour's seminars, and I just looked at many of my classmates, with a glimmer in my eye. Pretty much anyone that wants too, can pass information via data networks, and it will not ever be found. (Not unless the desired effect is to be found.) And, even if it is found, it can be rendered unreadable over any sort of near term time frame.

So in this case, the only way to remove the force multiplying abilities of technology for those smaller factions wishing to do harm, is to remove the ability of everyone to utilize such networks. Umm... Not going to happen anytime soon.

In fact, I am still waiting for some of the more paranoid global democracies to start passing laws banning the usage of encryption by any but those with 'authorized' licenses. Then there will be a penalty merely for passing encrypted traffic. Simpler then having to break it, one could then be arrested / interrogated / carted off to some foreign shore simply for passing traffic government agencies can't parse.

This frightens me... Prove that image doesn't hold any encrypted data, prove you don't have a cipher key hidden away somewhere to decode further meaning from that email you received from mom... Prove a negative to stop the mob from carting you away for terrorism.

What exactly were the terrorists supposed to do to our society again? Oh yeah, they hate and loathe our freedom... And want to destroy it or die trying. Seems like they are winning... non?

Too bad 'We the people' are sometimes so foolish as to trade so much for so little, time after time, without realizing the costs.


RE: encryption ?
By crystal clear on 3/27/2008 8:56:04 AM , Rating: 2
Just to broaden your horizons,wish to add this...

Its not only terrorism add to this a long list of illegal activities starting from
Drug smuggling,money laundering,tax evasion,industrial espoinage,& a lot more ....(too long to list them).

A long list list criminal of activities that can be tracked & followed up & may be stopped.

Countries want to keep their options open Legal, Technolgy etc.


RE: encryption ?
By crystal clear on 3/27/2008 9:01:11 AM , Rating: 2
A long list list criminal of activities

should read

A long list of criminal activities....

Sorry for the typing error.


RE: encryption ?
By Darkskypoet on 3/27/2008 1:36:37 PM , Rating: 2
But that's just it. It won't. It just increases the cost of entry, and really, not even by that much these days. If you look at criminal organizations in the same light as any corporation; there is a certain cost of entry to be successful, or have a chance at being successful, in an industry. (Be it legit or not) This sort of thing doesn't stop anyone who is committed to doing the other illegal activities of which you speak, it simply means that they become more organized, adapt to it and continue business as usual. If anything, it removes the small player, and increases the likelihood of an increasingly sophisticated and organized criminal sector with more profit at stake.

Case in point, drug trafficking; the American 'War on Drugs' hasn't stopped drug use, nor even really curtailed it. It has simply spawned an exceptionally strong and organized illegal drug sector, that has billions, if not trillions in yearly profits. It has caused an increase in street prices for drugs, increase in crime to gain access to said drugs, and an increase in average incarceration times (more gov't money going to fund prisons).

Who exactly has won? Or is winning? The drug cartels are, certain government departments have increased their budgets and powers so they are, prisons (either privately or state run) have increased budgets, so they are... Any 2 bit dictator in the right place at the right time might, if they allow US intervention without a fight, and follow certain policies to the letter...

Are the American People? The supposedly threatened by the big bad evil drugs? No. But they are paying the bill.

What government departments / private agencies win big on the next war on something? That's who gains from these sorts of things.

Why fight crime? To create a better society... if the net cost of fighting this 'drug war' is far higher then the gains to society by winning this 'ideological crusade', what business case is there to do it? Why perpetually funnel money into it? Why enrich the few at the expense of the many?

I think in large part it is because we have forgotten that a state left unchecked will seek to gain more power for itself at a cost to the citizens that it was created to serve. The entirety of the Drug War's effects have been to create a justified massive expenditure of the states resources, increasing the price of substances that enrich massive cartels. While doing so, it also increases both violent and property crime... A very efficient device in fact at doing just that. It does not help the people, it costs them.

Back on subject, take a look at the sheer amount of spam filled with nonsensical English to get by spam filters... Easy enough to encode messages in that garbage, doesn't even look encrypted. You're telling me that monitoring all the clear text communication in the world is going to help? It'll just be something else that people will spend money on to feel they are increasing their security, and staying (for the most part) oblivious to its actual ineffectiveness. This is a false sense of security, which can be far more damning then not doing so at all.

It is a large step to take, and a lot of money to spend, (which for India, and the US could be spent on much better things) to catch the few idiots that don't adapt. If criminal elements, they would have been out competed anyway and sent packing without this intervention.

Do you think those engaged in industrial espionage are dumb enough to pull out their blackberry and pin the secret formula to another individual in clear text? Would you hire that individual? Come on!


RE: encryption ?
By Darkskypoet on 3/27/2008 1:36:47 PM , Rating: 2
But that's just it. It won't. It just increases the cost of entry, and really, not even by that much these days. If you look at criminal organizations in the same light as any corporation; there is a certain cost of entry to be successful, or have a chance at being successful, in an industry. (Be it legit or not) This sort of thing doesn't stop anyone who is committed to doing the other illegal activities of which you speak, it simply means that they become more organized, adapt to it and continue business as usual. If anything, it removes the small player, and increases the likelihood of an increasingly sophisticated and organized criminal sector with more profit at stake.

Case in point, drug trafficking; the American 'War on Drugs' hasn't stopped drug use, nor even really curtailed it. It has simply spawned an exceptionally strong and organized illegal drug sector, that has billions, if not trillions in yearly profits. It has caused an increase in street prices for drugs, increase in crime to gain access to said drugs, and an increase in average incarceration times (more gov't money going to fund prisons).

Who exactly has won? Or is winning? The drug cartels are, certain government departments have increased their budgets and powers so they are, prisons (either privately or state run) have increased budgets, so they are... Any 2 bit dictator in the right place at the right time might, if they allow US intervention without a fight, and follow certain policies to the letter...

Are the American People? The supposedly threatened by the big bad evil drugs? No. But they are paying the bill.

What government departments / private agencies win big on the next war on something? That's who gains from these sorts of things.

Why fight crime? To create a better society... if the net cost of fighting this 'drug war' is far higher then the gains to society by winning this 'ideological crusade', what business case is there to do it? Why perpetually funnel money into it? Why enrich the few at the expense of the many?

I think in large part it is because we have forgotten that a state left unchecked will seek to gain more power for itself at a cost to the citizens that it was created to serve. The entirety of the Drug War's effects have been to create a justified massive expenditure of the states resources, increasing the price of substances that enrich massive cartels. While doing so, it also increases both violent and property crime... A very efficient device in fact at doing just that. It does not help the people, it costs them.

Back on subject, take a look at the sheer amount of spam filled with nonsensical English to get by spam filters... Easy enough to encode messages in that garbage, doesn't even look encrypted. You're telling me that monitoring all the clear text communication in the world is going to help? It'll just be something else that people will spend money on to feel they are increasing their security, and staying (for the most part) oblivious to its actual ineffectiveness. This is a false sense of security, which can be far more damning then not doing so at all.

It is a large step to take, and a lot of money to spend, (which for India, and the US could be spent on much better things) to catch the few idiots that don't adapt. If criminal elements, they would have been out competed anyway and sent packing without this intervention.

Do you think those engaged in industrial espionage are dumb enough to pull out their blackberry and pin the secret formula to another individual in clear text? Would you hire that individual? Come on!


US Legal Issues?
By rsmech on 3/26/2008 9:12:21 PM , Rating: 2
The NSA should just pay other gov'ts to collect the information they desire. Pay Afgan, Irag, India, Pakistan, ect. gov't for taps on calls from US to suspect terrorists. Let India give us what Google, RIM, and others won't. I'm not talking about a blanket tap or cultivating of info. but get what we need from whom we need.




RE: US Legal Issues?
By Sacrilege on 3/26/2008 9:19:32 PM , Rating: 2
Why pay when you can get the data for free? Under the treaty which established the Echelon system for signals intelligence gathering, the US along with Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand agreed to share intel and jointly man the listening posts. So if a US agent wants data to be obtained on US citizens without a warrant, all he has to do is turn to the New Zealander or Canadian sitting next to him, and request the eavesdropping be conducted.


RE: US Legal Issues?
By FS on 3/26/2008 9:29:58 PM , Rating: 2
I am sure we can currently do that and probably do it and have done it. It shouldn't be a big deal when we can buy suspected terrorists from Pakistani(and some other govt's too) gov't to keep Guantanamo filled up.


RE: US Legal Issues?
By Lightning III on 3/26/2008 11:37:05 PM , Rating: 2
The reasons there's a Legal issue is they put splitters on the phone switches and the internet and are copying everything that goes down the pipe.

and unless I'm mistaken that's domestic spying and specificly not allowed by FISA.

Thats why they are trying to invoke the state secrets act and refusing to talk about it.


RE: US Legal Issues?
By audiomaniaca on 3/27/08, Rating: 0
India qualifies as a close Ally now
By FS on 3/26/2008 9:25:36 PM , Rating: 2
By following the footsteps of US and using the same fricking excuse of "monitoring terrorist activities" they are proving to the US that they are also ready to be our close b!tch.




RE: India qualifies as a close Ally now
By joker380 on 3/27/2008 10:44:42 AM , Rating: 1
may be you should follow world news rather than the fabricated FOX5 news. US has to consider INDIA as an Ally because INDIA is the largest DEMOCRATIC Country in the WORLD. If INDIA were US Bitch than INDIA would have followed British/Japan/Australia and many other countries to send their troops to IRAQ. But In fact they didn't they refused to succumb to US Pressure and follow blindly to a DUBIOUS war. And they are openly saying that we are going to do this to the nation rather than like US doing it Unconstitutionally.


RE: India qualifies as a close Ally now
By rcc on 3/27/2008 12:34:18 PM , Rating: 2
What was unconstitutional about it. Congress voted to go to war.


By Lord 666 on 3/26/2008 11:49:31 PM , Rating: 2
Reviewed the linked artcle, doesn't give too much insight into how the Indian government wants to capture this traffic.

Correct me if I am wrong, but when using BES, it circumvents external Blackberry resources and communicates directly to handsets.

Even if the Indian government wants to click into cellular carriers, certain Blackberries can use WiFi for access. Wifi use combined with a direct link to a BES would negate this eavesdropping... unless Blackberry has BES servers replicate directly to Indian servers.




On & about India...
By crystal clear on 3/27/2008 8:07:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Since India has a different legal process than the United States, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology may have a better chance of getting its way with Indian telecoms and consumers.


Yes India has a different legal process than the USA,but their(India) laws basically have their origins from the British legal system & laws

The British who ruled India for more than 100 years had infact installed a legal/judicial system, same as the one in existance in the U.K.

This also applies to the educational system with ENGLISH as the medium of instruction-U.K. ENGLISH.

As a matter of fact, they the British created & installed a DVD image of the British way of life in/on INDIA.

Their censorship laws are similar to U.K.-yes changes have been made in the post independence era,but the basics are the same.

As for security concerns-India has serious problems when it comes to terrorism (Kashmir related).

They have a neighbour namely Pakistan which a breeding ground for terrorist/terrorism.
The Govt of Pakistan has long lost total control over the country & terrorist organizations flourish & breed like mosquitos.

Under such circumstances the Govt of India has to be vigilant & be on a alert.

They also have issues with Google also- Indian Secrity Installation are/can be easily viewed via Google maps.

Google will be the next in line for censorship related issues.

I wonder if there are commentators on D.T. of Indian origins or from/living in India.
If yes then feel free to correct me if I am wrong in my analysis.




BES traffic already encrypted
By jimbojimbo on 3/27/2008 3:32:12 PM , Rating: 2
If it's a corporate Blackberry the BES encrypts the message before it sends it off to RIM's servers. From there it gets relayed to the provider and then to the phone at which point it is decrypted. Even if India did get access to the traffic they will still have to decrypt every message that goes through. RIM can't even help them on that since the encryption keys are on the corporate server and BB device itself. I don't think the Indian government knows nor cares about all this though. It's just their way or the highway.




"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
Related Articles













botimage
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki