Blackberry makers Research in Motion (RIM) are in trouble again, this time with India, after squabbles with the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Algeria, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia over government access to its data servers.
All data that is sent and received on Blackberry's, wherever they are in the world, is processed by the company's servers in their home country of Canada. This means that many countries, who want to monitor data for reasons of terrorism, security or obscenity, are unable to do so.
Now India has imposed a deadline of August 31st by which the company must allow government access to all of its services, or be be shut down in the country. India is also considering similar bans on Skype and Google.
Only last week, RIM came to an agreement where they would set up local servers in Saudi Arabia. India fears Blackberry's could be used by militants and insurgents. The UAE, which was the first country to impose a block on the devices saying they posed a "national security risk".
So is this really about countries protecting their citizens or is there more to it than this? To be honest it's probably just that countries have become increasingly heavy-handed in the last ten years about security. Questions may now need to be asked if opening these services up to so many governments is a violation of international personal privacy laws.
For now this is an argument that's simply not going away, certainly not for RIM of the millions of Blackberry users in the middle-east.Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.