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RIM In Trouble For Not Violating Privacy

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the end-to-end-baby dept.

Privacy 278

sufijazz writes "The US government is not alone in wanting to snoop on everything citizens do over email/phone. The Indian government wants that right too. RIM is stating they have no means to decrypt, no master key, and no back door to allow the government to access email." The article notes that 114,000 BlackBerries are in use on the Indian subcontinent. The government is concerned about attacks by militants and sees the BlackBerry as a security risk.

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can't work even if they wanted it to (4, Insightful)

gmack (197796) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601161)

And there's the downside of governments trying to fight modern technology.

I bet if Blackberry did as they asked then people would start loading custom firmware on their phones to work around it.

Re:can't work even if they wanted it to (4, Insightful)

Ren Hoak (1217024) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601205)

The BlackBerry has really lost its monopoly on the messaging device. If they were forced to comply with this, I would expect them to lose market share while people flocked to any of the myriad other devices that provide convenient messaging services.

Re:can't work even if they wanted it to (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601425)

The BlackBerry has really lost its monopoly on the messaging device.

Blackberry never had a monopoly on the messaging device.

What Blackberry does have is the best mobile messaging platform, by far. Great management tools, great encryption, great integration with existing IT infrastructure.

Re:can't work even if they wanted it to (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601553)

Your post so full of it. Let's see:

1. "lost monopoly" - was it ever a monopoly?
2. "people flocked" - you mean, everybody will just give up using BB just because a govt is trying to snoop on them? Have you stopped using your phones here in US - govt is spying on your calls for years now.
3. "myriad other devices for convenient messaging services" - which on? BB is best there is out there when it comes to messaging. iPhone does not even come anywhere near, and its a moot point anyways - its not available in India.

Re:can't work even if they wanted it to (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601711)

BB and iPhone are the only ones out there?

Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and LG all have their own versions - I personally prefer E61i - and there are half a dozen of chinese firms also providing mobile messaging devices.

Re:can't work even if they wanted it to (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601277)

And there's the downside of governments trying to fight modern technology.

I reject your implicit assertion that there is an upside.

Re:can't work even if they wanted it to (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23602203)

So it can't be upside-down?

Re:can't work even if they wanted it to (5, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601309)

It doesn't matter; allowing governments to spy on people does not stop terrorism, social injustice, crime, political unrest, famine or war. It's an irrational reaction to a problem. Deal with the cause not the effect. But I don't really think politicians are that stupid; I think they know this, but want the excuse to be in the best example of Orwellian arguments to tyranny, however subtly and slowly it creeps upon us.

Re:can't work even if they wanted it to (4, Insightful)

smclean (521851) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601487)

Or just use encryption. To me, that's what is so baffling about the government privacy crackdowns. If anyone who was even remotely well informed wanted to communicate in private, they'd use strong encryption. I guess once someone uses encryption, they get an Indian military intelligence unit parked outside their door.

Re:can't work even if they wanted it to (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601833)

Or just use encryption. To me, that's what is so baffling about the government privacy crackdowns. If anyone who was even remotely well informed wanted to communicate in private, they'd use strong encryption. I guess once someone uses encryption, they get an Indian military intelligence unit parked outside their door.

Yes, but blackberries make it easy to communicate securely. You don't have the hassle of a PKI infrastructure with S/MIME certificates, or using PGP.

Incidentally, blackberries support PGP and S/MIME on top of their existing security.

Re:can't work even if they wanted it to (5, Insightful)

metlin (258108) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601609)

Well, to play the devil's advocate, terrorism in India is a much more realistic threat than terrorism in the US is (a democracy surrounded by Pakistan, an Islamic dictatorship and China, an aggressive communist state).

Not that that gives the government the right to do what they are trying to do, but just that do not attribute to malice what can be attributed to idiocy, or desperation.

Just last week, there were several bomb blasts [atimes.com] that killed over 80 people and injured hundreds more.

I don't necessarily think they are trying to fight modern technology, as much as try to prevent the bad guys from using it to their benefit. I do not necessarily agree with the way they are going about it, but I can certainly see where they are coming from.

Unlike the US where the state seems to use one incident as the bugaboo for massive invasion of privacy, countries like India and Israel face terrorism on a daily basis, and for them, this is a real, hard problem that needs to be addressed.

This is also a debate that has been going on for a long time, and it is too early to make a call.

Re:can't work even if they wanted it to (3, Insightful)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601939)

Don't forget that Bangladesh had a military coup a little over a year ago, and 2 ex-prime ministers, among others, are now in jail on corruption charges. For India, this is the equivalent of being a drug dealer, and seeing your pot-growing neighbor get raided by a SWAT team. Damn right the government there is going to be worried about militia groups.

Re:can't work even if they wanted it to (5, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23602299)

do not attribute to malice what can be attributed to idiocy, or desperation

I believe Hanlon's razor [wikipedia.org] is dull and rusty and Hanlon was probably using his razor to shave his own malice. Not that I ever heard off Hanlon before looking the quote up.

I subscribe to the credo "Never attribute to stupidity that which can be adequately explained by malice". Call it mcgrew's razor if you wish, it cuts the opposite way as Hanlon's. Malice itself is usually stupid, and anger is almost always counterproductive in our world.

But it matters little whether the person you are making excuses for is stupid or evil, the result is the same, and the cure is often the same as well. Why do you think they say "wow, that smarts" when they are in pain?

Re:can't work even if they wanted it to (5, Insightful)

Tikkun (992269) | more than 6 years ago | (#23602325)

You can't fight murder by banning knives, you can't fight hate by burning books and you can't fight conspiracy by banning privacy. Giving up your rights does not make you in any way safer.

Deal with the problem, not with the tools.

Re:can't work even if they wanted it to (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23602371)

Blackberry has been available in India for the last 3 years without the government or DOT raising a single issue about terrorists.

Its just when Tata Teleservices offered to provide the service that this suddenly became a 'terrorism' issue. Airtel and Hutch now Vodaphone have been providing blackberry since 2004.

This is not about terrorism but corporate politics and influence peddling which is the way of business in India. RIM just has to pay some money to the right people and this will die a natural death or ask Airtel/Vodaphone to stop their lobbying against Tata Tele.

Terrorism is fast becoming a favoured excuse and people should be a tad more skeptical before jumping to conclusions about threats that may not exist. Terrorists have many ways of communicating without resorting to blackberry. You can't stop technology because it can be abused.

Easy solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601947)

There's an easy solution to India's problem: convince the terrorists to use iPhones. There's absolutely NO security on the iPhone, so a hacker can easily get access to all your contacts, all your data (including email), and even listen in on the microphone or watch through the camera.

John "I Was A Prisoner-Of-War" McCain: +1, Helpful (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601177)

Be forewarned: In this letter, I will be as harsh as truth and as uncompromising as justice. It is worth noting at the outset that John McCain's shock troops get a thrill out of protesting. They have no idea what causes they're fighting for or against. For them, going down to the local protest, carrying a sign, hanging out with McCain, and meeting some other corrupt ne'er-do-wells is merely a social event. They're not even aware that in public, McCain vehemently inveighs against corruption and sin. But when nobody's looking, McCain never fails to make today's oppressiveness look like grade-school work compared to what he has planned for the future.

Unfortunately, sexist beggars who alter, amend, abridge, and censor the record to point the finger of responsibility at others make no effort to contend with the inevitable consequences of that action. It takes more than a mass of ghastly, malign caitiffs to take the initiative to look into the future and consider what will happen if we let McCain destabilize society. It takes a great many thoughtful and semi-thoughtful people who are willing to initiate meaningful change. What conclusion should we draw from his warnings? How about that I will do my best to maximize our individual potential for effectiveness and success in combatting him?

Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors. (The merits of McCain's homilies won't be discussed here because they lack merit.) McCain had promised us liberty, equality, and fraternity. Instead, he gave us wowserism, scapegoatism, and Lysenkoism. I suppose we should have seen that coming, especially since it's best to ignore most of the quotes that McCain so frequently cites. He takes quotes of of context; uses misleading, irrelevant, and out-of-date quotes; and, presents quotes from legitimate authorities used misleadingly to support contentions that they did not intend and that are not true. In short, McCain wants to smear people of impeccable character and reputation. It gets better: He believes that arriving at a true state of comprehension is too difficult and/or time-consuming. I guess no one's ever told him that he wants to give people a new and largely artificial basis for evaluating things and making decisions. You know what groups have historically wanted to do the same thing? Fascists and Nazis.

You might object to my claim that McCain equates non-cooperation and solitariness with individuality. But bear in mind that because of McCain's obsession with mercantalism, if we don't take advantage of a rare opportunity to replace today's chaos and lack of vision with order and a supreme sense of purpose, our children will curse us in our graves. Speaking of our children, we need to teach them diligently that I have one itsy-bitsy problem with McCain's editorials. Videlicet, they evade responsibility. And that's saying nothing about how he would like to see patriotism, honor, and personal responsibility fall into desuetude. Let me recap that for you because it really is extraordinarily important: For all of his professed concern for human rights, McCain has yet to take a firm and unambiguous stand against those exploitative bourgeoisie who make us dependent on callow flibbertigibbets for political representation, economic support, social position, and psychological approval. Whatever weight we accord to that fact, we may be confident that he has nothing but contempt for responsibility, duty, and honor. No joke.

A central fault line runs through each of McCain's squibs. Specifically, McCain's perceptions are merely a stalking horse. They mask his secret intention to pollute the great canon of English literature with references to his biggety, libidinous bons mots.

For McCain's oleaginous plans to succeed, he needs to dumb down our society. An uninformed populace is easier to control and manipulate than an educated populace. When you least expect it, schoolchildren will stop being required to learn the meanings of words like "disadvantageousness" and "hyperconscientiousness". They will be incapable of comprehending that McCain says that space aliens are out to lay eggs in our innards or ooze their alien hell-slime all over us. That's his unvarying story, and it's a lie: an extremely jejune and unctuous lie. Unfortunately, it's a lie that is accepted unquestioningly, uncritically, by McCain's encomiasts.

McCain pompously claims that we can all live together happily without laws, like the members of some 1960s-style dope-smoking commune. That sort of nonsense impresses many people, unfortunately. As I gaze into my crystal ball, I see that his helpers will advocate smarmy expedients faster than you can say "phenomenalistic". We'd all be in grave danger if he continued to engage in his repressive behavior. There is doubtlessly a delusional dimension to McCain's intimations. Or, if "delusional" is too narrow of a term, perhaps you'd prefer "obstreperous". In any case, if McCain truly believes that everyone who doesn't share his beliefs is a slimy whiner deserving of death and damnation, then maybe he should enroll in Introduction to Reality 101. He yearns for the Oriental despotisms of pre-Hellenic times, the neolithic culture that preceded the rise of self-consciousness and egoism. By the same token, McCain abhors the current era, in which people are free to rage, rage against the dying of the light.

If we don't build an inclusive, nondiscriminatory movement for social and political change then McCain will do away with intellectual honesty. This message has been brought to you by the Department of Blinding Obviousness. What might not be so obvious, however, is that it is sad to see McCain promote promiscuity and obscene language. Get that straight, please. Any other thinking is blame-shoving or responsibility-dodging. Furthermore, the ultimate aim of McCain's bait-and-switch tactics is to restructure society as a pyramid with McCain at the top, McCain's spin doctors directly underneath, obdurate apostates beneath them, and the rest of at the bottom. This new societal structure will enable McCain to trick us into trading freedom for serfdom, which makes me realize that his refractory, hateful machinations are in full flower and their poisonous petals of demagogism are blooming all around us.

McCain should clarify his point so people like you and me can tell what the heck he's talking about. Without clarification, McCain's double standards sound lofty and include some emotionally charged words but don't really seem to make any sense. I have a plan to debate the efficacy of his beer-guzzling, churlish prognoses. I call this plan "Operation reveal the nature and activity of McCain's flunkies and expose their inner contexts as well as their ultimate final aims". (Granted, I need a shorter, catchier name but that one will do for now.) My plan's underlying motif is that McCain is reluctant to resolve problems. He always just looks the other way and hopes no one will notice that he was warned by his own collaborators not to emphasize the negative in our lives instead of accentuating the positive. Regular readers of my letters probably take that for granted, but if I am to comment on his rejoinders, I must explain to the population at large that once people obtain the critical skills that enable them to think and reflect and speculate independently, they'll realize that if you can make any sense out McCain's uncivilized tirades then you must have gotten higher marks in school than I did.

While everybody believes in something, McCain's simple faith in jingoism will cause pain and injury to those who don't deserve it. To be blunt, there is no place in this country where we are safe from McCain's comrades, no place where we are not targeted for hatred and attack. I should note that if you've read any of the ill-natured slop that McCain has concocted, you'll surely recall McCain's description of his plan to sensationalize all of the issues. If you haven't read any of it, well, all you really need to know is that every time McCain tries, he gets increasingly successful in his attempts to shrink the so-called marketplace of ideas down to convenience-store size. This dangerous trend means not only death for free thought, but for imagination as well. Is anyone else out there as struck as I am by McCain's utter disregard for morality and humanity? The reason I ask is that I want to unify our community. McCain, in contrast, wants to drive divisive ideological wedges through it. Some day, I want to give direction to a universal human development of culture, ethics, and morality. But you don't have to wait for that. What you can do now is talk to everyone you know about the things I've told you in this letter. Use every medium available to you. Use the Internet. Use your telephone. Use radio and newspapers. And whatever you do, never be afraid to speak out against the evil that is John McCain.

Biggety, libidinous bon mots? (1, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601279)

I don't want to go on a rant here, but this screed makes about as much sense as Beowulf having sex with Robert Fulton at the first battle of Antietam.
I mean when a neo-conservative defenestrates it's like Raskolnikov filibuster deoxymonohydroxinate.

Re:Biggety, libidinous bon mots? (1)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601329)

Sherri Shepherd, is that you?

http://abc.go.com/daytime/theview/cohosts#

Re:Biggety, libidinous bon mots? (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601405)

It's a "Family Guy" quote poking fun at Dennis Miller, actually.

Re:Biggety, libidinous bon mots? (1)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601443)

I'll have to download that. I used to like Dennis Miller years ago. Now....he looks like a moron. I wonder who changed :)

Re:Biggety, libidinous bon mots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601633)

> I wonder who changed

One thing's for sure, he never did. He still thinks his tired old schtick is funny. He makes Robin Williams' act look avant-garde.

Re:Biggety, libidinous bon mots? (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601679)

I thought the quote was appropriate. Somebody obviously got out their Big Jar of Large, Important Words and sprinkled liberally. The piece was especially brilliant because it almost made sense. But not quite. It's obvious copypasta, but I wonder if the original is even about John McCain? In any case, it gave me a good laugh.

Re:Biggety, libidinous bon mots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601943)

Dennis did. He was a liberal before 9/11, after which he took a strong turn to the right. He even talked about his "conversion" on his show.

Re:Biggety, libidinous bon mots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23602029)

What the hell is a rant?

Kudos (1)

lilomar (1072448) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601989)

Best. troll. ever.

I haven't laughed so hard at something I found on the internet in forever.

This could set a precedent (4, Interesting)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601209)

Phone companies in the US, maybe elsewhere, are legally required to facilitate eavesdropping under CALEA. End to end encrypted data services such as Skype and Hushmail have escaped this so far.

Will they be faced with the dilemma of changing their architecture versus being banned? Will they lose confidence no matter what? Hushmail at least used to publish their source code, but Skype is closed source and the binary is heavily obfuscated.

Re:This could set a precedent (3, Informative)

neoform (551705) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601335)

Good thing RIM is a Canadian company.. eh?

Re:This could set a precedent (3, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601945)

Good thing RIM is a Canadian company.. eh?
Why? Google and Yahoo are American companies that are based in the "land of the free" and yet they comply with the Chinese government with all their unethical anti-privacy and surveillance measures. Nice companies who "do no Evil" will never win in the end. Just like corporations are legal personifications of a person; a nice company will never get the girl, the BMW or the promotion. Just ask Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.

Re:This could set a precedent (2, Interesting)

neoform (551705) | more than 6 years ago | (#23602103)

Yes, but google and yahoo both have servers in china that handle chinese traffic.

All BlackBerry traffic goes through their central servers located in Canada.

Re:This could set a precedent (4, Funny)

74nova (737399) | more than 6 years ago | (#23602155)

I knew there had to be a way to slam America in this, nice work.

Re:This could set a precedent (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 6 years ago | (#23602215)

I knew there had to be a way to slam America in this, nice work.
Thanks :)

Re:This could set a precedent (2, Insightful)

blindd0t (855876) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601429)

Will they be faced with the dilemma of changing their architecture versus being banned?

I sure hope not! A back door for government is a back door for anyone and everyone. It'd be like having trusted keys for software licensing enforcement, which we all know gets leaked in a heart-beat anyway. :-(

Re:This could set a precedent (2, Informative)

grub (11606) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601529)


The Blackberry uses whatever telco you subscribe to but the data portion is end-to-end encrypted. And they're a Canadian company so US laws don't apply. Same goes for Hushmail if memory serves.

Re:This could set a precedent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601743)

Hushmail can decrypt your email and will if compelled to do so legitimately. Just read about it on hushmail.com.

Re:This could set a precedent (1)

dadragon (177695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23602435)

Hushmail cannot decrypt your e-mail if they don't have your key. They only have your key if you store it on their server. If Hushmail decrypts your mail, it's your fault.

Re:This could set a precedent (5, Interesting)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601763)

Phone companies in the US, maybe elsewhere, are legally required to facilitate eavesdropping under CALEA. End to end encrypted data services such as Skype and Hushmail have escaped this so far.
So has TOR and Freenet so far. The German built JAP proxy technology was forced to put in a backdoor for the German police; all completely unannounced until a programmer looked at the (open) source code. Wikipedia has a slightly different interpretation (no back doors, but warrants issued to log IP addresses). To this day there are some very stupid people who believe that "anonymous" services should have backdoors in place to make these services un-anonymous.

I can remember when the PGP creator was put on trial in the US for his subversive software. The American government was smart in dropping the case and thus not setting a possible legal precedent (against themselves), but that was pre-9/11. As Bob Dylan once said "The times they are ah changin'"

Re:This could set a precedent (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23602161)

The German built JAP proxy technology was forced to put in a backdoor for the German police; all completely unannounced until a programmer looked at the (open) source code.

...

C:\Documents and Settings\The MAZZTer>cd /d E:\Programs\Internet\JAP

E:\Programs\Internet\JAP>uninstall.exe

E:\Programs\Internet\JAP>cd ..

E:\Programs\Internet>rmdir JAP

Ahem. I never really used it anyway. Just experimenting with different proxies. Besides, Tor is better. >_>

Re:This could set a precedent (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23602291)

I can remember when the PGP creator was put on trial in the US for his subversive software.

He wasn't on trial for his subversive software, it was for exporting munitions without a license.

Most countries (including the USA) have rules on the exportation of military technology. They don't want John Doe to export 100,000 artillery shells to a war zone (or an enemy) without approval.

Encrypted communications technology was classified as a munition, so you need a license.

However, the mathematics for strong encryption had been known for years, and free available around the world, so the US wasn't accomplishing anything by blocking the export of PGP.

Re:This could set a precedent (2, Informative)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601797)

> Hushmail at least used to publish their source code
Unless their implementation is buggy, that's got nothing to do with crackability. PGP (and any credible) security is in the key, not the algorithm.

>Will they be faced with the dilemma of changing their architecture versus being banned?
I sure hope not. Hushmail and Skype are applications/service providers. They don't maintain the physical infrastructure of fiber and copper cables. They are not "common carriers."

To quote the immortal Dick Cheney... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601217)

So?

Re:To quote the immortal Dick Cheney... (5, Funny)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601275)

He's only immortal until a ring of garlic is put around his neck, a stake driven into his heart and holy water sprinkled over the earth were he lays.

Come on, folks. This guy has a "Man Sized" safe in his office. What do you think he has in there? He has a man....to feed off of.

Re:To quote the immortal Dick Cheney... (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 6 years ago | (#23602165)

...and that's only until he comes back in a future issue due to a retcon, to boot.

Re:To quote the immortal Dick Cheney... (2, Funny)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23602489)

No, he's not a vampire, he's a Cyborg [wikipedia.org] . For that matter so am I [crystalens.com] . Neither garlic nor stakes will suffice. In fact, a steak through the heart is the likely cause of Cheney's becoming a cyborg [reference.com] in the first place!

You will be assimilated. Resistance is not only futile, when the time comes you will beg to join us.

Disclaimer: By "us" I mean cyborg, not Republican. I didn't vote for that particular cyborg and never would; I consider him and Bush to be traitors to my country. See what happens when you elect an alcoholic to the Presidency and Vice Presidency?

-mcgrew
PS- did I tell you that you would be assimilated? In fact you may already be a winner!

End to End Encryption - independent of location (5, Insightful)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601265)

So.... the Indian government wants RIM to figure out a way to decrypt every email - from all those CrackBerries, without any keys (RIM doesn't have the keys) and store them all on a local server - and somehow RIM is also supposed to magically know that the hardware is in India (they operate independent of location). India, I have bad news. It isn't going to happen. On the upside, this may set a precedent for other companies to reject a governments calls for access to emails without warrants (US companies, take note, you could learn from your neighbor to the north).

Re:End to End Encryption - independent of location (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23602009)

your neighbor to the north
geez, you have no idea where India is do you.......


i keed i keed :)

They can take a lesson from the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601293)

They need a version of GITMO.

You WILL give us your password or else!

I have a better solution (1, Flamebait)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601297)

IF they're worried about Muslim terrorists, make everyone getting onboard the train have to eat a BLT. If they refuse, they might be a terrorist. Likewise, if they're concerned about Indian terrorists, make it be a nice, juicy hamburger. And if they're worried about Christian terrorists, tell them they have to suck off a gay dude. On second thought, that might might just encourage the Pastor Ted's of the world.

I'm sorry, am I being religiously intolerant here? Fuck it. I'm just sick of people telling me they believe all sorts of crazy shit based on "faith" and yet they think they can tell us what sort of science is permissible to be taught in public schools. Just gets back to the old definitions...

Cult: a small, unpopular religion

Religion: a large, popular cult

If I seem particularly bitter about this shit today, it's because I had a long conversation about eschatology with a true believer. Obama's the charismatic leader, the two witnesses are already in Israel, Russia's poised to attack the Holy Land and her flying armies are going to be struck from the sky with a rain of brimstone and fire, Hillary Clinton is the Whore of Babylon, and the disasters in Burma and China are proof the end is nigh. Sorry, asshole, you must be this intelligent to ride. Get off the bus.

Re:I have a better solution (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601387)

"they're worried about Muslim terrorists"

You mean like Rachel Ray?

Re:I have a better solution (3, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601651)

"they're worried about Muslim terrorists"

You mean like Rachel Ray?
Exactly. But in her case, I'd demand that the test be she eat a popsicle, slowly. I'm not sure what this would prove but it would be fun to watch.

Re:I have a better solution (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#23602571)

You mean like Rachel Ray?

Exactly. But in her case, I'd demand that the test be she eat a popsicle, slowly. I'm not sure what this would prove but it would be fun to watch.

Yes, but she has to eat it without using her hands, and no biting. I don't care what it would prove.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I need some 'alone time' after visualizing that. ;-)

Cheers

Re:I have a better solution (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601407)

Honestly, I believe they are worried about the Tamil Tigers, and I am not immediately aware of their particular religious affiliation, though I do know they like to blow things up in southern Sri Lanka.

Re:I have a better solution (0)

gmack (197796) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601459)

Wrong country. The Tigers rarely disrupt anything outside of Sri Lanka.

Re:I have a better solution (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601617)

The conflict between the Tamil and Sinhalese is ethnic and cultural, not religious if I recall correctly (buddhist monks have been known to run arms for the Tamil Tigers, for example).

However, it is possible you are correct that at least, in part, they're worried about the Tamil separatists. That particular group is absolutely fearless (they conduct suicide bombings that make incidents in Israel look tame by comparison), are strangely well-equipped (they have a navy?), and until recently were actually piggybacking on an Indian broadcast satellite to run their own programming. I'd imagine that using smartphones/PDAs for secure communication isn't out of the question.

Re:I have a better solution (1)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601453)

What about vegetarian lesbian non-terrorists? Damn, looks like they might be Muslim, Hindu, and Christian terrorists.

Oh well.

Yeah, I support working class attacks on /religion/, but I also think that it is fucking stupid to think that one single test like that would solve your problem.

What if the Muslim person has had special dispensation from their holy leader to eat meat? Or to be allowed to cut their beard? It does happen, and it means your simplistic anti-terrorism measures don't work.

Thanks for trying though.

Re:I have a better solution (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601691)

What about vegetarian lesbian non-terrorists? Damn, looks like they might be Muslim, Hindu, and Christian terrorists.
Then our only solution would be to make them at combo platters.

Yeah, I support working class attacks on /religion/, but I also think that it is fucking stupid to think that one single test like that would solve your problem.
I'm being deliberately absurdist. I'm just sick of religion in general.

What if the Muslim person has had special dispensation from their holy leader to eat meat? Or to be allowed to cut their beard? It does happen, and it means your simplistic anti-terrorism measures don't work.
Then maybe we should just ban everyone from flying. Then we won't have to worry about terrorists getting onboard.

Thanks for trying though.
What's the consolation prize, rice-a-roni or turtle wax?

Re:I have a better solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23602313)

whoosh . . . . or perhaps
W H O O O O S H . . .

Re:I have a better solution (3, Funny)

Reece400 (584378) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601621)

Oh no! Circular reference!

Cult: a small, unpopular religion

Religion: a large, popular cult

Re:I have a better solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601641)

And you have zen quotations from Dune in your quote.

The irony is palpable.

Re:I have a better solution (0)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 6 years ago | (#23602491)

You're not being religously intolerant. You're being religiously^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ignorant.

If you were being serious, I would be pointing out that our public schools teach the religion of global warming, popularization of alternative lifestyles, and a post-modern outlook on life. I say 'religion' here, taking the cue from you. One man's religion is another's cult, is another's philosophy.

BTW, natural disasters are either clear evidence of the End Times or a consequence of living on an active, dynamic planet... I vote for the latter. Once we were thrown out of the Garden of Eden, we got stuck with this place. Not so bad, unless you happen to get caught up in something interesting, no?

Sheesh. Your bus is a pretty wacky ride, dude.

Re:I have a better solution (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#23602575)

If they refuse, they might be a terrorist.
Or a member of one of those wacky religions whose members are vegetarians. D'oh!

Re:I have a better solution (2, Funny)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 6 years ago | (#23602627)

Hillary Clinton is the Whore of Babylon

Are you sure it wasn't Bill?

Why not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601307)

Why not give into the militant's demands? Surely they will stop if there was more cultural understanding.

Re:Why not... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601637)

...and if the militants demand a restriction and/or loss of freedom at large? Or perhaps a titanic sum of money? Or what if they demanded a large parcel of land (e.g. Sri Lanka) to be immediately separated off into its own nation, which means a loss of sovereignty over that particular parcel and a lot of people who are suddenly at risk of theft, injury, and/or death by the new order?


Sometimes, to 'give in' isn't a simple matter of giving some ideology a voice in government...

/P

Summary is indicative of the problem (5, Insightful)

hassanchop (1261914) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601327)

The Indian government wants that right too


This shit infuriates me.

GOVERNMENTS DO NOT HAVE RIGHTS OF ANY KIND.

Governments have powers. This IS NOT a simple semantic argument.

Friendly advise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601941)

This IS NOT a simple semantic argument.

Including simple definitions of "right" and "power" in this context, and demonstrating why the distinction is important, might help drive your point home a bit more.

As it stands your post is pretty easy to dismiss.

Re:Friendly advise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601957)

"As it stands your post is pretty easy to dismiss."

Says the AC...

Re:Friendly advise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23602601)

"As it stands your post is pretty easy to dismiss." Says the AC...
Says the AC...

Re:Summary is indicative of the problem (1, Flamebait)

LeafOnTheWind (1066228) | more than 6 years ago | (#23602089)

"Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing."

Re:Summary is indicative of the problem (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 6 years ago | (#23602231)

More specifically, governments have nothing the PEOPLE don't grant them.

And since the PEOPLE grant them, the PEOPLE can (and should) be able to TAKE THEM AWAY.

So, let's pretend we (at least Americans) _remember_ the true spirit of our Founding Fathers....

That's why when we sheepishly ask the government to solve a problem, we really need to think before we grant them _more_ power.

And yes, it's not perfect, and we're to blame for most of the ills of our own governments... but in the US, we still have the Constitution, and we still have the ability to change our government if we truly wanted to. In other "democratic" places, the peoples' rights are much more in danger.

Re:Summary is indicative of the problem (2, Funny)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#23602607)

GOVERNMENTS DO NOT HAVE RIGHTS OF ANY KIND.
I think we've got one of those freedom-loving, government-hating terrorists on our hands. Sir, please put your hands on your head....

This message contains proprietary information... (4, Informative)

pha7boy (1242512) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601353)

... and is protected from disclosure.

So, what happens when trade secrets leak because some gov employee got bribed to access them and pass them to a competitor?... I would assume RIM could also be held liable for loss. And its harder to sue (and win) against a government, esp. somewhere like India. A lot easier to drag RIM in front of a jury in the US.

Re:This message contains proprietary information.. (2, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601993)

... and is protected from disclosure.

So, what happens when trade secrets leak because some gov employee got bribed to access them and pass them to a competitor?... I would assume RIM could also be held liable for loss. And its harder to sue (and win) against a government, esp. somewhere like India. A lot easier to drag RIM in front of a jury in the US.

How's this any different to a US government employee being bribed to arrange a tap on a business phoneline and passing details of any conversation to an outside party?

Just to be a little bit paranoid (3, Insightful)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601357)

If you had the means to break into emails and give the key to the government....

Think of this... If you are a government, wouldn't you like RIM to announce that their encryption is unbreakable, and then you announce how unhappy you are with them? I mean, wouldn't RIM be shooting itself in the foot to announce "Oh yes, there's a master key, and if we'll give it up under certain circumstances that we won't discuss"?

And what a great advertisement to have the government say "Even we can't snoop on your email". If you spent a billion dollars on advertising, you couldn't get that kind of great publicity.

It all seems to.... "convenient".

Re:Just to be a little bit paranoid (1)

flerchin (179012) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601461)

Yeah, it's convenient for RIM. However, I don't think that anyone truly concerned with privacy/security is depending upon email for it, over a Blackberry (tm) or not.

Re:Just to be a little bit paranoid (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601909)

Think of this... If you are a government, wouldn't you like RIM to announce that their encryption is unbreakable, and then you announce how unhappy you are with them? I mean, wouldn't RIM be shooting itself in the foot to announce "Oh yes, there's a master key, and if we'll give it up under certain circumstances that we won't discuss"?

You know, the sheer level of completely casual paranoia exhibited here on Slashdot is staggering at times.

I sometimes think that if someone stated something innocuous, like, "The sky is blue", you'd get one camp fiercely saying the sky is blue, another saying it isn't, and yet a third group saying that talking about the blueness of the sky is just subterfuge to keep us from thinking about the wetness of water.

That would likely lead to side discussions over the merit of the positions of if the sky was designed blue, is blue from reflecting the oceans, or if it's a quirk of scattering of wavelengths by our atmosphere.

Then you would have to repeat the cycle for if we have an atmosphere (and what state it's in), the shape of the Earth, and if we are, in fact, actually only just running in a simulation and anything we think we know about the atmosphere is all carefully designed to make us believe we're sentient beings observing the universe as we know it. This, all being course some elaborate plot by the white mice to get the answers they need.

It all seems to.... "convenient".

When you're convinced everyone is conspiring to hide the truth from you, any rational explanation is too "convenient" in that it doesn't mesh with the crap you're trying to convince yourself of.

At some point, thinking everything is just a little too convenient just basically means you're bat-shit crazy and out of touch with reality.

Seriously, loosen the tin foil hats, have a couple of beers, get laid, and chill. The world isn't conspiring to deceive you at every turn.

Re:Just to be a little bit paranoid (5, Funny)

zacronos (937891) | more than 6 years ago | (#23602189)

Seriously, loosen the tin foil hats [...]
AHA! Clearly, you have a vested interest in whether I wear my tin foil hat or not!

Since you want me to take it off, it must work! That is, unless that's what you want me to think, and it actually acts as a locator so you can more easily trace my position. Or perhaps it's all a ruse to distract me from noticing something else even MORE sinister....

Yes, it's all becoming clear to me now. I'm on to you!

Paranoid indeed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23602251)

"You know, the sheer level of completely casual paranoia exhibited here on Slashdot is staggering at times."

Yea.... it even extends to people posting anonymously.

Y'know. Just in case...

No back door? (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601421)

RIM is stating they have no means to decrypt, no master key, and no back door to allow the government to access email.

<tinfoil_hat scarcasm_mode=high>
Sure, that's what they say to the public...
</tinfoil_hat>

Re:No back door? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601655)

Sure, that's what they say to the public...

I know you're joking, but the Blackberry platform has been audited from end-to-end [blackberry.com] by the governments of Canada, United Kingdom, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, United States, Norway and Turkey. Also approved by NATO and the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology in Germany.

There may be back doors, but that is a pretty wide spectrum of institutions.

And frankly, you really don't need a back door. The blackberry is a secure conduit between a handheld device and an email server. So what if you can't crack it in transit. Just go to the email server, and seize that. Or throw the guy with the handheld in jail until he answers your questions.

Security Risk? (2, Funny)

jhouserizer (616566) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601449)

If the Blackberry is a security risk, so is a pen.

Re:Security Risk? (4, Insightful)

spikexyz (403776) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601587)

The pen has always been a risk. The american (canadian) dream is financial and not ethical or intellectual. People writing dangerous ideas have always been a threat and doing so has been tolerated as far as it doesn't pose and significant threat to making money. The difference now is that the government can now eavesdrop on the pen and they want to do so to better ensure that there aren't too many dangerous ideas.

Re:Security Risk? (1)

jhouserizer (616566) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601713)

Oh absolutely. I was primarily pointing out that going after RIM is highly selective and not going to get them far in terms of real results!

Why privacy? (1)

Normal_Deviate (807129) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601463)

IMO, the surveillance state is inevitable, so it may be worth thinking clearly about exactly why privacy is important. IMO, privacy is important because it makes it harder for the state to enforce stupid laws. Prominent examples include laws whose purpose is to extract revenue, restrain competition, appease envy, or score brownie points with invisible men in the sky. In a world ruled by objectivists, universal state surveillance would not be particularly worrisome, except to thieves.

Re:Why privacy? (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601685)

> In a world ruled by objectivists, universal state surveillance would not be particularly worrisome, except to thieves.

Or non-objectivists. Or hell, people that like Chopin instead of Rachmaninov. Or abstract art of any kind.

Re:Why privacy? (1)

Normal_Deviate (807129) | more than 6 years ago | (#23602589)

Sigh. No. Objectivists do not imprison people for foolishness. This is, in fact, one of their distinguishing characteristics.

Re:Why privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601845)

I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.

Wait a second... (5, Insightful)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601489)

The US government is not alone in wanting to snoop on everything citizens do over email/phone.

Hold on a second there.

I believe the reason the US government uses the BlackBerry is because the service cannot be decrypted. If it could be, then they wouldn't be able to rely on it due to security and privacy considerations, etc.

As much as that statement is kindle for a fire I'm quite certain that at least in the context of using BlackBerry's, the US government has no interest on being able to decrypt communications. I think it's safe to assume the government is content with the fact that there is no backdoor to RIM's services.

Re:Wait a second... (2, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23602039)

I would second this. Every time I have to go to the Hill, every one there is on their blackberries. My friends that are Congressional staffers all get them from work for official communications. It's friggin' blackberries all over the place, and you never see anything else.

Personally, I stick with my motorola krazer and my palm tx - but if I were to get a smartphone I'd buy a Palm Treo. Never occurred to me why they love blackberry so friggin' much until this story.

Problem. (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601613)

If you make it so you can monitor the militants with that device... They won't use that device they will just use an other method. There is the concept that encryption technology is so advanced only the best and brightest can take advantage of it. It is easier to use something else the someome made however. It is not that difficult to make your own, espectially if you have a cause.

mod uP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601715)

states that therre niggern3ss? And

Blackberry privacy is only for large enterprises (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601725)

Blackberry privacy is only for large enterprises. If you have a corporate Blackberry server, the keys are between the client units and the server, and RIM doesn't have them. If you use Blackberry's public servers, RIM has your E-mail. India only wants "non-corporate emails". [indiatimes.com]

The gov't listens to everything (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23601885)

Every system has a backdoor. These products would not be allowed onto the American and/or Indian markets without the gov't approval. After all, corporations and gov't are merely quid-pro-quo whorehouses sold to the highest bidder. When the gov't needs illegal wire-taps, Verizon and Sprint allow them secret rooms to listen in on calls. When Haliburton (and KBR) need more revenue, the gov't hands out no-bid contracts. When the gov't dislikes literature, Amazon and Wikipedia ban America Deceived (book) [iuniverse.com] . We The People had our gov't sold out from beneath us.
     

Re:The gov't listens to everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23602431)

PGP sure doesn't have a backdoor. Carry on thinking everyone is out to get you.

Re:The gov't listens to everything (0, Troll)

macbeth66 (204889) | more than 6 years ago | (#23602451)

This book is not banned. It is just a very crappy book and no one wants it.

terrorists using blackberries (1)

goffster (1104287) | more than 6 years ago | (#23601977)

Only the really stupid terrorists (98%) believe
this bit about not being able to decrypt.

Go Canada! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23602331)

RIM is based in Canada, where we have much stricter privacy laws than in other countries, at least for the time being. It's nice to see that RIM is sticking to its guns on this one too.

Hey, this is easy to fix... (2, Interesting)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 6 years ago | (#23602541)

If the Indian government wants to be able to spy on their own Blackberries, then run their own BES cluster. That way they have the data - problem solved.

Of course, knowing how hard it seems for RIM to let the gummint look at data, I may not give up my BB after all.

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