The pending ban of BlackBerry as deemed by the United Arab Emirates, will affect Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and will include foreign visitors as well, leaving only phone service available. RIM has had other requests from these countries. The Kuwaiti government wants RIM to cut off access to porn sites and Saudi Arabia wants the BBM turned off. So what does RIM say?
Tuesday RIM issued their statement, conveying to their customers that their data is secure. The statement also explains the encryption of data on the BlackBerry Enterprise Server network. The data on the BlackBerry Enterprise Server is so encrypted, that not even RIM has access to it. It explained that it wouldn’t be able to provide a copy of the key since neither RIM nor the wireless network operator ever have a copy of the key. There is no master key nor any backdoor that would give RIM or a third party the ability to access that information.
In the customer statement the following was included:
“The BlackBerry security architecture was also purposefully designed to perform as a global system independent of geography. The location of data centers and the customer’s choice of wireless network are irrelevant factors from a security perspective since end-to-end encryption is utilized and transmissions are no more decipherable or less secure based on the selection of a wireless network or the location of a data center.”
“RIM respects both the regulatory requirements of government and the security and privacy needs of corporations and consumers. RIM does not disclose confidential regulatory discussions that take place with any government, however, RIM assures its customers that it is committed to continue delivering highly secure and innovative products that satisfy the needs of both customers and governments.”
India also had their concerns, which RIM did compromise, allowing the India’s security agencies to monitor its corporate email.
Because it’s the Middle East, this isn’t a very light issue. It’s good to see RIM not backing down, after all, it may be a stack of cards as what’s to stop Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to follow suit if RIM were to give in? There’s quite a bit at stake here, but it’s comforting to know that RIM is adamant in protecting the data of its customers and keep communication flowing.
Since posting this article, CIO’s Al Sacco posted an article listing the response RIM gave to it’s customers which is more detailed and concise as it has the entire context and explanation by RIM rather than the excerpts provided by cnet news. I’m including the link with the nine BES security facts as provided by RIM.
[via: cnet news]