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BlackBerry makers express inability to provide access to data
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Amid demand from security agencies to monitor BlackBerry services, its maker Research in Motion on Tuesday expressed inability to meet the demand saying no one including the company could access the encrypted data.

RIM’s statement comes at a time when Indian security agencies have warned the company to provide the technology to monitor contents or face a ban on its operations.

Even the UAE and Saudi Arabia have said recently that they will bar the BlackBerry services due to security risks.

“The BlackBerry security architecture for enterprise customers is purposefully designed to exclude the capability for RIM or any third party to read encrypted information under any circumstances,” the Candian firm said in a statement assuring its customers about security and privacy.

“Governments have a wide range of resources and methodologies to satisfy national security and law enforcement needs without compromising commercial security requirements,” it added.

The security architecture for enterprise customers is based on a symmetric key system whereby customers create their own key and only the customer ever possesses a copy of their encryption key.

“RIM does not possess a master key nor does any back door exists in the system that would allow RIM or any third party to gain an unauthorised access to the key or corporate data,” the company said.

It, therefore, would be unable to accommodate any request for a copy of a customer’s encryption key since at no time does RIM, or any wireless network operator, ever possess a copy of the key.

There are about a million users of BlackBerry services in India at present.

The security agencies in India apprehended that BlackBerry services in the present format posed a serious security threat.

The Ministry of Home Affairs had warned RIM that it would ban BlackBerry’s operations if the security concerns were not addressed.

In view of technical problems involved in accessing the data, the government has been pushing the service provider to set up a BlackBerry server in India so that its services can be easily monitored by security agencies in an emergency.

RIM, which operates in 175 countries, said, “While RIM does not disclose confidential regulatory discussions that take place with any government, RIM assures its customers that it is committed to delivering highly secure and innovative products that satisfy the needs of both customers and governments.
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