RIM Bows Under Pressure and Agrees to Work with India
Research In Motion (RIM) has agreed to work with India and presumably allow the country to access encrypted, personal BlackBerry information on its servers in Canada. The decision came after India threatened to shut down RIM’s operations in the country because its intelligence community was unable to intercept information and messages sent between BlackBerrys. India deemed it a security concern and it looks like RIM has capitulated.
The future of BlackBerrys in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is still in doubt, and RIM has joined the ranks of Western companies expanding aboard and experiencing hostility from foreign governments. Google is currently locked in a battle with China regarding the future of its operations there and Skype has also come under attack in India. It looks like unless you live in North America or Western Europe, you are not going to be allowed to use commercially available encryption to ensure the privacy of your data.
While the news that RIM has decided to take the easy and more profitable way out of giving India the key to the country’s BlackBerry data, the news certainly lets us feel more comfortable about how secure our BlackBerrys are. While India’s intelligence community certainly is not the NSA by any stretch of the imagination, when it comes to decrypting and intercepting information, at least the threat of our device being stolen, hacked and our personal information stolen just got even smaller.
So, BlackBerry users. Did RIM do the right thing in this situation? Or is it taking care of its balance sheet before it takes care of its customers? What are Western companies supposed to do in situations like this? Let us know what you think of this whole mess.RIM, encryption, India banning BlackBerrys