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.

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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
"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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