BlackBerry Bares it All For the Government

Law enforcement agencies will soon begin interception of communication exchanged over BlackBerry devices as RIM has successfully addressed all of the government’s demands, according to a new report.

Guy FauxAfter much back and forth in 2010, RIM (now BlackBerry) had offered to share with security agencies its technical codes for corporate email services, open up access to all consumer emails within 15 days and also develop tools to allow monitoring of chats.

They had also told the Government that they were willing to share data related to the IP address of the Blackberry Enterprise Server, Personal Identification Number (PIN) and the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) of any Blackberry device which the security agencies may want to track.

With the latest development  government agencies can intercept web browsing facilities on BlackBerry handsets, allowing them to track e-mail attachments on a real-time basis and enabling them to know whether the messages exchanged on the popular BlackBerry chat, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) had been ‘delivered’ and ‘read’, the TOI report said.

The government has been on a spree to snoop on its citizens, in the name of national security, by setting up snooping network like Centralised Monitoring System(CMS) and also cornering telecom and internet companies like Facebook and Google to share user information with them.

An internal department of telecommunications (DoT) document cited in the report says that, “Barring a few minor points for improvement of viewers, the lawful interception system for BlackBerry Services is ready for use.”

Back in May this year, market regulator SEBI, was planning to take steps to monitor mobile applications like BBM and WhatsApp. The market regulator cited that their investigation had revealed that these services were used in a number of insider trading and market manipulation cases.

The Internet based text and voice messaging app WeChat, is under the Intelligence Bureau scanner due to security concerns about its Chinese origins pose.

Intelligence agency has told the National Security Adviser that such messaging platforms were raising new cyber threats. The government was also in talks with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Department of Telecomm to discuss the need to be block such services, especially with Chinese origin.

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