Sunday, October 31, 2010

BlackBerry: Consumer Privacy Vs. National Security

Blackberry Overview

Blackberry is a line of smart phone developed and designed by a Canadian Company called Research In Motion (RIM), Research In Motion is a Canadian telecommunication and wireless company best known for its smart phone Blackberry, its headquarter is in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and the Founder is Mike Lazaridis who is currently serving as a co-CEO of the company, the Company is best known for its innovative smart phone device called Blackberry which function as a messaging phone, a personal digital assistant and as entertainment device.

The Blackberry is well-known for its ability to Push Internet email wherever mobile network or Wi-fi is presented, it also allows push Facebook and MySpace notification, push EBay, and push instant messaging with Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, and Google Messenger, the operating system used by the devices is a proprietary multitasking environment developed by the RIM, the phone data is compressed through Blackberry Internet Service (BIS), which allows the POP3 and IMAP email integration for individual users, it also allows for the function of push capabilities for various Blackberry applications developed by RIM or third party developers. The phone comprise all the popular applications including Facbook, Messenger and many others. Its really an amazing device.

Blackberry newer devices uses the Blackberry Messenger application which allows instant massages to be sent internationally, the software allow instant massaging sending and receiving via Blackberry PIN. Hence is an eight character hexadecimal identification number that are assigned to each Blackberry phone device, these eight PIN numbers cant be changed manually by users and serve as an identification number for each device. The Blackberry Messenger allows the exchange of instant massaging, personal information, pictures, and personal status. It allows users to connect to other Blackberry users around the world exchanging in real-time instant massages, pictures and GPS location. The blackberry uses high level of encryption for all its push function such as email, instant massaging through Windows, Yahoo, and Google Messengers that prevent any access by any other party. The Blackberry Messenger is using high level of encryption where massages send to other Blackberry devices encrypted when users send it and decrypted when other Blackberry receive it through the Blackberry PIN, and all data is routed to RIM servers in Canada. The Blackberry Messenger is the most poplar Blackberry application by young users because of its ability to able users to communicate with other Blackberry users around the world.
Consumer Privacy Vs. National Security

Many countries around the world have expressed their concerns about Blackberry functionality. These countries have expressed there reservation about Blackberry Strong encryption and the fact that all data of Blackberry is routed to RIS servers, which not enable local governments to track or monitor these data and the possibilities of terrorist attacks. Also these servers are based in RIS Canada which in fact are out of these government Legal Jurisdictions.
However these concerns have escalated into the threatening of total block of all Blackberry service. United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain have recently threatened block all Blackberry services in there countries, as they view these services as a national security threat, they also announce a deadline for Blackberry to hand out the encryption's keys that able them to monitor all communication through Blackberry. Addtionally India have risen the issue of Blackberry national security threat as it afraid that domestic and foreign terrorist will use these technology to coordinate their attack on India, India recently announced that they were able to crack the encryption of Blackberry however they still face difficulties to crack all Blackberry encryption's. According to Blackberry announcement regarding its security issues it stated that it values consumers privacy and it will work towards that goal. Blackberry announced that it will not make country-specific deals as it attempts to work with government threatening to block its services. However the Blackberry is in a continuous negotiations with these government in order to resolve the issue without compromising consumers privacy.

The question here is: Which is more Important, Consumers Privacy or National Security?. the issue is more complicated than it seems, with the risen of more sophisticated terrorist attacks by using latest technology have risen the concerns about the misuse of technologies by terrorist, therefore we have to establish a countermeasures in order to prevent terrorist from successfully delivering an attack. I think we should all put some compromises in order to prevent these terrorists attacks and these compromising will be for the greater good. What do you think?

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