BlackBerry bows to govt, sets up server in Mumbai

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by White Clouds, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. White Clouds

    White Clouds Regular Member

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    Do you think our government should be given full rights to intercept all messages? In a way this may help in security issues but at the same time are we not loosing our right to privacy? I would like to discuss the pro and cons on this issue. Do we need eyes tracking our every movement at all times or should the government invade all privacy for the sake of security?
     
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  3. Agantrope

    Agantrope Senior Member Senior Member

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    India is a sovereign nation, it has all the rights to do what it requires for her safety, If BB cant comply then they are not welcomed
     
  4. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    No entity can stand between National Security measures.

    For the people worried about their privacy, its better to let your Government have your details than risking your & lives of millions. If they still want their privacy, go back to stone age; pass your messages hand to hand, face to face.
     
  5. Agantrope

    Agantrope Senior Member Senior Member

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    When they can share the data with US and China why cant they do it with India. If not please let them close their shops, There are lot of competitors in the market
     
  6. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    I am not sure if Blackberry is sharing data with US & China or anyone as of now. GOI has demanded to move Blackberry servers dealing with Indian users to country soil. They have technical issues sharing data as they claim but I don't think its any technical problem TRAI can not resolve. BB will be doing as IB requests, not just metadata but all requisites should be met.
     
  7. White Clouds

    White Clouds Regular Member

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    Thank you for posting all. I would like to take up few things so far which has been posted
    I am assuming by risking lives of million you mean that devices like Blackberry falling into hands of terrorists. Blackberry is not your usual use and throw mobile phones.
    Source

    Wouldn't a terrorist try to be anonymous rather having his device linked to his identity?

    Actually the R.I.M. officials have flatly denied that the company had cut deals with certain countries to grant authorities special access to the BlackBerry system.

    Here is an interesting read
    Read more at: BlackBerry security stance sows anxiety - NDTV Profit

    The important thing to note is court orders. Intelligence agencies etc should provide sufficient reasons and evidence to court before gaining access to intercept decrypted messages. While our government is completely evading our judiciary branch and wants direct access to such messages. Do you not think these kind of things can be used to spy on citizens invariantly. How abt spying of business deals, spying of political parties when there is noone to overlook them?

    The Supreme Court of India has come to the rescue of common citizen, time and again by construing “right to privacy” as a part of the Fundamental Right to “protection of life and personal liberty” under Article 21 of the Constitution, which states “no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedures established by law”. In the context of personal liberty, the Supreme Court has observed that “those who feel called upon to deprive other persons of their personal liberty in the discharge of what they conceive to be their duty must strictly and scrupulously observe the forms and rules of the law”.

    Over the period of time, the Supreme Court has reiterated the Right to Privacy in many cases. Some of the cases are: Kharak Singh v State of UP [AIR 1963 SC 1295], Gobind v State of M.P. [(1975) 2 SCC 148], State v Charulata Joshi [(1999) 4 SCC 65], R. Rajagopal v State of Tamil Nadu [AIR 1995 SC 264].

    (c) The Information Technology Act, 2000 (hereinafter IT Act), and

    (d) The Indian Contract Act, 1872

    What's next CCTV inside our homes and bedrooms to ascertain there is no illegal activity going on? Are you okay with a CCTV inside you're homes? Are you okay with a microphone inside every room of your house/ business to ascertain there is no national security problems there?
     
  8. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    It certainly constitutes a security threat in my view.

    And furthermore, we have proper causal precedent to demand such a move. The Mumbai bombers used Blackberries in 2008- to coordinate their attacks and were undetectable.

    Here is an interesting video: France24 - BlackBerry: a real security threat?

    However, I don't think it should be banned. A 'ban' is, at this point, only a threat. I think negotiations with 'updates' on the lines of what the UAE did are the way forward.
     
  9. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Perfectly justified is the Indian stance. Terrorists are very smart and always trying to be one step ahead of the security agencies. Its the agencies that have to ensure that they go two steps ahead. Terrorists very easily used wireless internet too to communicate. They use websites in an encrypted format to a secret code to communicate. We have to ensure that their are not gaps in monitoring such things.
     
  10. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Blackberry has to comply with local laws or they have to shut shop. Encrypted communication which cannot be intercepted by security agencies is a big security threat.
     
  11. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Well I take it this way, with all the media publicity surrounding this. I doubtany terrorist will not be using Blackberries to communicate when they know that they can be tracked.

    Ofcourse the reality is that most govt. agencies do use BlackBerry because they are the only smartphones thatprovide military grade encryption, so it could bemore a case of guarding national interests here. That is if GoI is planning to give out BlackBerry to its staff
     
  12. White Clouds

    White Clouds Regular Member

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    My query is shouldn't the judiciary get involved and ensure Government is not spying on people unnecessarily? If they shouldn't then why do we have courts? Why not just lock everyone up who intelligence agencies constitute a security threat? It is a basic tennet of freedom and democracy.

    Yes, I partially agree that some setllement should me made but in a way that to decrypt or intercept someone intelligence agency should get a court order otherwise what's stopping people to learn about secrets of stock trades, business deals, personal affairs of people. Terrorists win we we start living in fear and eroding human rights for the fear of terrorists is in my honest opinion a win for terrorists.
     
  13. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    The police will need home secretary's (state or central) approval to tap the phones. The phones are not tapped at will but only observe suspicious persons who could endanger state or national security. There is also probability that there might be abuse of unwanted tapping of phones (like politicians, businessmen) but GoI should ensure that there is transparency and accountability in giving permission to tap the phones. A balance should be struck between national security and human rights.
     
  14. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Ideally that should be the situation but with the right amount of $ and connections you can get the cops to tap any phone. Basically, whenever the number you want to tap receives or makes a call, you get a call on your phone as well and by answering it you can snoop in on the conversation. Cops can also provide you with transcripts and recorded conversation at the end of every week.
     
  15. White Clouds

    White Clouds Regular Member

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    Thank you for this information, I was not aware that some approval will needed. I completely agree with you GoI should ensure the accountability and transparency.
     
  16. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    As I said accountability in the form of punishment/dismissal should be fixed on erring cops who will try to abuse phone tapping for personal gain. A stringent mechanism should be established at home secretary level who will not give permission to tap phones without a genuine reason. Despite all this, I'm sure there will be abuse but hey its India.
     
  17. White Clouds

    White Clouds Regular Member

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    Yes sir, the corruption which is entrenched to deep in our system is what worries me. What can we citizens do to erode out these corruptions except to file RTI's every now and then. Without court to check our system every now and there's no stopping to it. That's another reason why I hoped courts should get involved in it.
     
  18. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Involving courts is good but we already lack enough courts and judiciary that we have a very large backlog of court cases. I don't think we should burden them even more.
     
  19. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Oh, the judiciary is definitely involved. See Daredevil's post below.

    If you were to google: 'Telephone Recording laws in India', you'd see that Rules 419 and 419A of the Telegraphic Act 1885, as amended, explicitly set out the method of interception and monitoring telephone messages. 'fact, economic offences/tax evasion were initially covered under the reasons for interception of phones, but was withdrawn in 1999 by the Government based on a Supreme Court order citing protection of the privacy of the individual. That's what's ' stopping people to learn about secrets of stock trades, business deals, personal affairs of people '.

    A Supreme Court Judgment in 1997 on a case clearly states that the right to hold a telephone conversation in private at home or at an office will come under the provisions of right to privacy. And that an unabridged, unsupervised telephone conversation is an important part of a person's private life. If you feel you're being snooped on, you have the right to go to the Supreme Court, who will then grill the agency's backside if it does not have a warrant from the home secretary of the Union or the respective state.

    Besides, any warrant for phone tapping in India must have 'strong cited reasons', will be in effect only for two months, unless another, fresh order is issued which will give the home secretary the right to extend that warrant by six months only, and will be subject to review by the Cabinet, law and telecommunication secretary who 'will need to review the same in 2 months time of the date the order has been issued'.

    That is, at least, what the law says. However, in practice, at least in my city, I know for a fact that a very hefty fee will sometimes get you transcripts of a particular conversation. However, that is reserved only for the privileged few- those that can actually pay the fee, and is not widely used. It is far easier for business organizations to penetrate rival business via human intelligence, or in the case of individuals seeking to resolve a grudge, to source the services of detectives- which are a booming business in India.

    More to the point: the GoI has the right to demand the inclusion of a software on Blackberries that will allow it to snoop on its citizen's conversations. This is not to say that it will invade its citizens' privacy, merely that it has the ability to do so, when the warrant so permits. Our concern should be" that the government exercise the utmost restraint, prudence and judiciousness in the use of telephone-tapping, within the framework of the law of the country, but that when the law so permits, that it have the ability to exercise that franchise.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  20. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    There are hundreds of ways to tweak the identity & use any communications device, location. Extremists have been using it from many years.

    First of all the security threat of this use is internal as IB has shown problems with it. Stolen devices, using fake identity on these BB can be a holy grail for terrorists, separatists, any deadly organization or even the spies from foreign countries working in India.

    The Metadata or the Header fields are visible to the security agencies but those smart organizations were never that fool enough to highlight the actual information. Any internet service provider will have to share data on packet level sooner or later.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  21. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    No special deal for specific countries: RIM

    Looks like Indian BB users are going to pay price in this trouble......

    Four days ahead of the deadline given by the government to provide solutions for monitoring contents, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion today said the company does not have a "master key" to gain access to encrypted corporate information. "RIM does not possess a 'master key', nor does any 'back door' exist in the system that would allow RIM or any third party, under any circumstances, to gain access to encrypted corporate information," the company said in a statement.

    The Canadian company asserted that it maintains a consistent global standard for lawful access requirements that does not include special deals for specific countries.

    The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has instructed all telecom service providers to ensure that a technical solution for interception and monitoring of BlackBerry services in readable format is made available to the law enforcing agencies by August 31, 2010.

    RIM noted that it would be unable to accommodate any request for a copy of a customer's encryption key "since at no time does RIM, ever possess a copy of the key".

    The smart-phone-maker has a subscriber base of one million in India. The security agencies and RIM are likely to hold a meeting to decide the fate of Blackberry services in India, ahead of the expiry of the deadline.

    Pointing out that strong encryption in wireless technology is not unique to the BlackBerry platform, the statement said that such encryption is a fundamental commercial requirement for any country to attract and maintain international business.

    "Singling out and banning one solution, such as the BlackBerry solution, would be ineffective and counter productive," the company said.

    According to the statement, RIM is extending an offer to the Government, to lead an industry forum focused on supporting lawful access needs of law enforcement agencies while preserving legitimate information security needs of corporations and other organisations in India.

    "In particular, the industry forum would work closely with the Indian Government and focus on developing recommendations for policies and processes aimed at preventing the misuse of strong encryption technologies while preserving its many societal benefits in India," it said.

    The company has assured the Indian Government of continued support and "respect for India's legal and national security requirements," the statement added.

    Source
     

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