Research In Motion Ltd.

has offered information and tools to help India conduct surveillance of wireless email and messaging services on RIM's popular BlackBerry, say people familiar with the negotiations, illuminating RIM's dealings as it seeks to balance sovereign security concerns with its customers' privacy. In a series of discussions that intensified this summer, RIM offered to provide crucial information that would help the Indian government track down messages sent via the company's popular and encrypted corporate email service, according to those familiar with the confidential talks and to minutes of meetings reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. In a July 26 meeting, RIM representatives told Indian officials "they have a setup to help the security agencies in tracking the messages in which security agencies are interested," according to an Indian government summary of the meeting. The Waterloo, Ontario, company has become an industry leader in part on the strength of a secure technology that offers information privacy to customers. But as RIM seeks to expand, it is grappling with how its promise of user confidentiality is encountering resistance from governments around the globe. RIM's challenge, along with Google Inc.'s face-off with China over censorship issues, illustrates the growing tensions between Western technology giants, who seek to woo millions of emerging-market consumers with increasingly sophisticated technology, and governments that are trying to maintain security in the face of it. The stakes are high in India, the world's No. 2 wireless market, behind China, with 635 million subscribers. Emerging economies are vital to RIM as its smartphones face competition in North America from Apple Inc.'s iPhone and devices that run on Google's Android software. RIM's new international subscribers for the first time outnumbered new North American subscribers in the quarter that ended Feb. 27, according to brokerage GMP Securities. Discussions between RIM and India took a public turn Thursday when India's government threatened to block some BlackBerry services from the country's telecommunications networks unless the services could be opened to surveillance by Aug. 31. On Friday, an Indian government official said RIM had assured India it would meet the deadline. A spokesman for RIM in India declined to comment on negotiations with India. Sachin Pilot, India's Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology said Friday there are promising signs that the company is willing to cooperate, but there's no deal "until I have something in writing." RIM has come under scrutiny in recent months amid contentious negotiations with countries including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, which have also sought to monitor BlackBerry services for threats to national security.

said officials in the region believed RIM had been holding back from them technological solutions that had been offered to Western governments. Governments are pressuring RIM to comply with their demands for information in part because unlike other smartphone vendors. any responsible government would not want to compromise." the statement said.A person familiar with the negotiations in the U. RIM declines to discuss its negotiations with governments and didn't comment on negotiations in India and other countries. Governments generally have laws that allow them to monitor traffic on mobile and computer networks operating within their own countries. Talks between RIM and various countries have centered mostly on data routed through the company's system for corporate emails. RIM has said that even it can't decrypt BlackBerry corporate emails. Pilot. "In terms of our issues of national security. RIM outlined its guidelines for how far it is willing to go in helping carriers meet surveillance needs. In a statement issued Thursday. RIM said it will only help carriers meet strict nationalsecurity rules. specifically in regards to BlackBerry Messenger. It is generally Internet service providers and telecommunications carriers that must implement the country's monitoring regime. "After some persuasion. it operates its own network of servers.A. technology infrastructures and laws governing how security forces and police can access data. the biggest of which is in Canada. BlackBerry Enterprise Server. won't provide more access than its competitors already do and won't alter the security architecture of its corporate email servers in response to government needs. "RIM maintains a consistent global standard for lawful access requirements that does not include special deals for specific countries. "I don't think what we are asking is out of the ordinary vis-à-vis other countries. . India's security services argue they need access to selected emails to ward off criminal and terrorist threats. outside their monitoring reach and jurisdiction." said Mr." Security and technology experts say each country has different surveillance needs." according to an Indian summary of one discussion. and the kinds of help RIM gives carriers in doing that varies with each nation. BlackBerry Messenger. which don't operate their own email services. That contrasts with devices such as the iPhone. the communications minister. the [RIM] representative agreed that they can provide the metadata of the message. whose high levels of encryption can prevent government monitors from deciphering content or determining sender or recipient.E. According to minutes taken by the Indian side. and its instant-messaging service. the parties discussed whether RIM could provide "metadata" from encrypted corporate emails²information such as the email's sender and recipient and the time sent. says a person familiar with RIM's operations.

E. announcing a ban on BlackBerry email. according to the meeting minutes. that had been offered to other countries. such as Google's Gmail. RIM also promised to develop tools to help Indian authorities tap into thirdparty Internet chat services. the Middle East's largest economies. Government officials say RIM has taken a condescending attitude to developing countries' security demands. citing a lack of progress in more than three years of negotiations. "It's like we aren't speaking the same language. but people familiar with talks in the Gulf countries say they have been acrimonious. . "They refuse to listen to us. Both countries have been negotiating with RIM for the same kinds of access to data that India wants. The U. upped their ante with RIM weeks before India did. telecommunications regulators announced earlier this week that RIM had offered them a technical fix that would let them access data from BlackBerry Messenger.A. and say they believe the company was holding out on solutions to access information. Internet and instant-messaging services from Oct. It wasn't clear under what circumstances RIM would agree to divulge such information.E. and Saudi Arabia. suggesting to officials that emails that aren't subject to heavy corporate encryption can be viewed with assistance from local carriers.A. In Saudi Arabia." he said. where messages are in decrypted form. Tensions were fueled when RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis said in an interview earlier this month with The Wall Street Journal that many of the nations the company deals with aren't techsavvy and don't understand the Internet. Governments that have been reviewing their data-access arrangements with RIM have been sharing information with each other. It isn't clear whether or how RIM has proposed to help security officials decode BlackBerry Messenger. The government says it remains optimistic of a solution. that run on its handsets. In the meetings. and RIM are ongoing." Anger boiled over last month with the U.E. Negotiations between the U. such as on BlackBerry Messenger." said a person familiar with the negotiations. y y y Just in Case: Backup Options for Addicts RIM Optimistic About India Saudis Await RIM Ruling RIM also appears to have put itself in a role of educating Indian officials over the operation of its network and on network security in general.A. Saudi Arabia followed with a threatened ban on BlackBerry Messenger. 11. "We work with these countries to educate them. said an official in the region with knowledge of the Indian negotiations.Cyber-security experts say such metadata would give government intelligence services important leads to locate BlackBerry traffic on corporate email servers.

A more drastic solution. people familiar with those negotiations said. Under such a scenario. It wasn't clear from the government documents summarizing the meetings between RIM and the government whether such an option is being considered. people familiar with the matter say²and then classify the company as an Indian Internet service provider. As telecom service providers like Airtel. analysts say. Such a move would put India on stronger legal footing. though the matter can be challenged in court. people familiar with the situation say. The government has extended till December 31 the deadline given to Research in Motion (RIM). The decision has been taken by the Home Ministry after a meeting with representatives of RIM and the Ministry of Telecommunication." A 2008 law gives bureaucrats in various agencies the authority to order monitoring of any entity's Web traffic. Abraham said. police and security agents typically must get a court order to gain access to things like the content of emails. to provide access to its messenger and enterprise services to the security agencies. The company would vehemently oppose such a classification. "We are satisfied with the solution provided for the lawful interception of BMS. "the government would be allowed to get a room inside RIM and install whatever machines they want to monitor that traffic. service providers are liable to put in a mechanism allowing security agencies to intercept any conversation or message of any subscriber whenever required. India's regulations in this area are murky. the Tatas and the government-run .E. maker of BlackBerry phones. and other countries. the U. would be for the government to require RIM to build a BlackBerry data center within India²something that could cost tens of millions of dollars. hence RIM has been given a fresh deadline. The latter has sought more time as the October 31 deadline given to the company was approaching. It remains unclear whether RIM's promise to provide metadata to corporate messages will be enough to satisfy India's concerns. An 1885 law that has been updated over the years allows the government to intercept Internet traffic "on the occurrence of any public emergency. RIM has balked at the government's request that it set up a local data center. Technical discussions on the BlackBerry Messenger Service (BMS) and BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) have been going on between the security agencies and the RIM." an official said. In the U. says Sunil Abraham of the Bangalore-based Center for Internet and Society. to demand data from RIM as well as companies whose employees use BlackBerrys.In RIM's home country of Canada.S. RCom. We want to test it for some more time while discussions on BES are still on." Mr. According to the licensing conditions. Vodafone.A.

RIM offers the BlackBerry services in 175 countries across the globe. Read more at: http://profit." the official manufacturers have suggested forming of a joint consultative forum comprising government. Then they are pushed to the BlackBerry device in encrypted form. . "Singling out products like BES in the present instance and imposing ban on such services would be futile and counterproductive. SMS and BlackBerry Internet Services (BIS) have been made available to the law enforcement agencies. voicemail. RIM said the ban would be futile as anyone who wanted to misuse of Internet encrypted technology would shift to any one of other numerous and freely available options. which are sent to BlackBerry Enterprise Server located with the service provider. BES decrypts messages and sends them to the email server of the service provider where they remain stored in decrypted form. There are around one million BlackBerry subscribers in India. virtually refused to provide an intercepting technology for its BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) and said it had provided options to Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) within India's existing techno-legal framework.BSNL and MTNL are offering BlackBerry services. which have played a key role in success of modern business. The step would be counterproductive because any ban or suspension of services like BES. In a letter to Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrasekhar. As of now." vice-president of RIM Robert E Crow said. makers of BlackBerry. users and service providers for drawing up procedures to intercept services likes Enterprise Mail as banning the service would be 'counterproductive'. will affect information security and efficiency of both commercial and government organisations. RIM said it also strongly believed that the concerns of LEA and the government can only be effectively addressed in a wider dialogue between government and industry.ndtv. RIM representatives explained that BlackBerry mobile device sends encrypted emails. "We hope that final solution would be found by December 31. it is the responsibility of these operators to ensure that the security agencies get access to all services they offer. The RIM said the BES service uses standard technology which was no different from any of the other encryption products used to provide Virtual Private Network on both wireless and wired networks. Canada-based Research In Motion (RIM).

. RIM provides corporate email and instant messaging services to about one million users in the country Read more at: http://profit. But no solution has yet been found on the BlackBerry enterprise email system. the government will meet the Canadian maker of the device. In a statement issued on Friday. confirming that they have upgraded their systems to intercept BlackBerry messenger services. "As this issue impacts the Internet industry as a whole. The BlackBerry manufacturers claimed that the approach was necessary because the network operators and service providers do not have clear access to target information as the users have.. Read more at: http://profit. of the government. has time till October end for offering a solution. be established for collectively engaging and assisting the government to draw up procedures and process that will be adhered to across the board to address the concerns of LEA and the misuse of such technologies. RIM stated that it "has drawn a firm line" in offering "lawful access" to its services." Crow we understand it.a sign that reports that it has made concessions in countries like Saudi Arabia are incorrect. The company says that while it supports governments all over the world in requirements that arise from national setting a deadline of August 31 for BlackBerry to provide access to corporate emails and messenger companies have submitted their compliance report to the Department of Telecommunications. It says it doesn't have the ability to do this anywhere in the world and that its security architecture is the same across the globe . many of these users also want the opportunity to directly engage with the Government to find solutions. we at RIM therefore earnestly request that a joint consultative forum.ndtv. Research In Motion (RIM).The government has given a time of two months to BlackBerry for providing technology for intercepting its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service and BES." Crow said. (Read: Full Text of RIM's Statement on Blackberry Battle) RIM indicates that it is not willing to allow governments to access data sent using . ". it cannot be asked to provide customers' encryption keys. the maker of BlackBerry. RIM had got a 60-day reprieve from the government to continue services in the country on the condition that the Canadian firm would have to ultimately set up a local server in order for its full services to continue beyond November. users and providers of encrypted services. Research in Motion or RIM.

" its statement explains. India wants access in a readable format to encrypted BlackBerry communication. "If a technical solution is not provided by August 31. For NDTV Twitter NDTV Social Live Messenger Gmail Buzz Print "Also driving RIM's position is the fact that strong encryption is a fundamental commercial requirement for any country to attract and maintain international business anyway and similarly strong encryption is currently used pervasively in traditional VPNs on both wired and wireless networks in order to protect corporate and government communications. 2010 12:29 IST Tags: BlackBerry. the government will review the position and take steps to block these two services from the network. There are an estimated one million BlackBerry subscribers in the country. RIM Read more at: . intelligence and state-run telecom operators met to discuss how to gain access to BlackBerry content. (Watch: How BlackBerry encrypts emails) India's ultimatum was issued hours after senior officials from government.ndtv. on the grounds that it could be used by militants. y y y y y y Rediff. follow us on Twitter or join us on Facebook Story first published: August 13." a government spokesperson had said.BlackBerrys that security agencies in those countries wouldn't already be able to monitor if it were sent from smartphones made by competing manufacturers. 2010.

There are two obvious fallacies with regard to this assertion.S. At the core of this security dilemma is the uniqueness of RIM¶s BlackBerry architecture.S. From a post-incident forensics standpoint. the National Security Agency (NSA) has the ability to ³snoop´ electronic communication under court order. along with U. It is the legitimate right of any democratic government to intercept communication that threatens its national security. RIM has denied the request. India and the Gulf countries. In the U. expects to enforce its ban beginning October 11. This blogger can think of a million reasons why they will be compelled to reconsider their stance.E. For one.¶s preoccupation with security. During the George W Bush Administration. India has asked to be given the ability to decrypt BlackBerry emails. knowing U.E. governments should be able to intercept and read communication that they legitimately feel threaten the integrity of the nation and the safety of its citizens. and post-incident forensics. Anything short of this will likely be a compromise of national security.S. contend.) decrypts BlackBerry emails for India..S. upon request is unwelcome. There are two aspects to any government¶s legitimate need to access encrypted emails ² surveillance under warrant. One. establish a chain of custody and bring about successful prosecutions. the NSA had the ability to intercept electronic communication without a court order in the days immediately following 9/11 (many suspect that this is an ability that the NSA retains). if it feels they threaten its national security.A. it should be fundamentally unacceptable to GoI to allow custody of its citizens¶ secure communication to a third country.S. India¶s history as perhaps the nation most victimized by terrorism has necessitated such a stance. physical access to the servers that contain encrypted email will allow the state to control variables. were this true.India¶s pushback on the BlackBerry issue.A. Two. The government of India should therefore accept nothing short of access to RIM¶s decryption keys and a server farm physically located in India. Share| Concerning Cyber . if no agreement is reached). As far as surveillance is concerned. is in negotiations with India on resolving the issue makes me question why the U. Any talk of a settlement whereby a third party or government (such as the U. would want to insert itself into what should rightly be negotiations between India and RIM (or Canada). The Indian government has let it be known that it will ban BlackBerry devices in the absence of such an ability (the U.S. where its encrypted emails are stored in server farms in Canada. stating that there are no master keys to decrypt BlackBerry emails. and Saudi Arabia¶s stance is challenging fundamental perceptions of electronic security and global commerce. or to secure and use as evidence any information used to undermine it. it is entirely their loss. for all intents and purposes) to operate commercially in the U. news reports indicating that the U. If RIM chooses to be unyielding. it would have been impossible for RIM (a foreign company. and not without justification that they require the ability to intercept encrypted electronic communication in the interest of national security..

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