Stephanie Borg Psaila   08 Sep 2010   Internet Governance

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Blackberry developer Research In Motion must be very busy these days fighting its way through bans. A handful of countries threatened to block some or all of the Blackberry services, after raising concern that local data first travels overseas before finding its way back to users' smartphones. The bans have been handed out together with requests for servers to be installed within these countries' shores, allowing for data to be routed locally.

The states claim they are concerned about the security of data traffic flowing out. Earlier last month, a member of the Indonesian Telecommunications Regulatory Body assured that 'There’s no decision yet on the ban, but we raised similar concerns as other countries over the security of data traffic... We just wanted to protect the customers and our country from any misuse of the content of communication using BlackBerry devices.'

A love triangle? An uneasy one, as a number of countries raise concerns over Blackberry's overseas routing of user data. (Source: An Introduction to Internet Governance, p. 141)

The quabble lies at the heart of what An Introduction to Internet Governance describes as the third side of the privacy triangle which is the least publicised. 'It is perhaps the most signi ficant privacy issue, probably because both states and businesses collect considerable amounts of data about individuals.' (p. 141)

We'll have to see whether RIM and these states enter into private agreements, and whether RIM would be allowed unfettered operations. The absence of any agreement will mean bans, starting with the UAE. The October 6th deadline is looming in.

Comments

  • Hanane (not verified), 09/26/2020 - 09:32

    Blackberry was decided not to change its mind about protecting the users' data until a twist in events occurred when bigger countries like India and Indonesia decided to ban the device. This means that BB will have to bear big losses too! From the Arab region perspective, the main concern of the decision making circles is to guarantee security by monitoring any and every source of information ,while privacy scores high on the agenda of a corporation like BB because it's seeking more business and would like to please its customers by ensuring their privacy is not breached. That's why BB invested heavily in deploying its own servers for data exchange. However, this model is soon to be exterminated ( in certain countries)as the big hairy goals of a big corporation to provide a unique service are been buried by the narrow vision of governments because of what I call security paranoia.
  • Profile picture for user Stephanie Borg Psaila
    Stephanie Borg…, 09/26/2020 - 09:32

    Thanks Hanane for the comment... interesting observations. Another couple of twists in events took place... The first was UAE lifting the ban on Blackberry, after talks with Research In Motion. This took place a few days before the ban was expected to take plan. (Full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11499755) And now, India has given Blackberry extra time in which to solve the deadlock. Will India also lift the ban eventually? Plenty of time to decide till Dec 31. (Full article: http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/business/blackberry-given-more-time-to-solve-deadlock-over-private-data_100443221.html).
  • Profile picture for user Stephanie Borg Psaila
    Stephanie Borg…, 09/26/2020 - 09:32

    Another update: 'No change to BlackBerry security architecture for India: RIM' Telecom operators may have given compliance reports on upgrading their networks to intercept BlackBerry services, but the maker of the high-end handsets, Research In Motion (RIM), has asserted there is "no change" to its security architecture, which is the same around the world. http://www.hindustantimes.com/No-change-to-BlackBerry-security-architecture-for-India-RIM/H1-Article1-620417.aspx
  • In reply to by Stephanie Borg…

    Profile picture for user Stephanie Borg Psaila
    Stephanie Borg…, 09/26/2020 - 09:32

    And yet another update: NEW DELHI (Reuters) - BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion said on Friday (Nov 19) it was confident that India's security concerns could be resolved to their mutual satisfaction, and said it has consistent global standards for lawful access, which does not include "special deals for specific countries." Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6AI2E120101119

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