The Privacy BlogPrivacy, Security, Cryptography, and Anonymity

Aug/10

9

Security of BlackBerry in question

There has been a lot of media coverage of the threats of Saudi Arabia and the UAE to shut down BlackBerry connectivity in their countries unless RIM (the maker of BlackBerry) introduces a back door so they can monitor communications.

I have been following this story closely, but wanted to wait until I had all the facts before blogging about it. At this point I don’t think I am going to get the whole story. The statements I am seeing are absolutely contradictory and the whole thing is getting really fishy.

UAE/SA say that they need to be able to access BlackBerry communications, but they can’t.

RIM says that their technology makes interception impossible because the communications are encrypted end to end between the BES server (located at the users place of business) and the handset. RIM claims not to have access to the decryption keys.

Third parties claim that RIM has arrangements with other countries (including the US and Russia) which allows such access.

RIM responds that this is false and that they don’t have this ability.

It looks like RIM and UAE/SA will come to an agreement while both continue to claim that they have not compromised their positions.

The moral of this story is that you should not trust security you can not fully analyze yourself. Anonymizer Universal uses strongly encrypted L2TP VPN technology to secure your information so even if your telecommunications´╗┐ provider is cooperating with surveillance they still can’t read the contents of your messages.

Unfortunately Anonymizer Universal does not support BlackBerry yet, but iPhone, Windows, and Mac users are protected.

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3 comments

  • Jeffrey Carr · August 9, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Excellent advice, Lance. Thanks for adding your voice to help clarify this mess of contradictory announcements.

    Reply

  • Michael · August 12, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    I just wonder will Anonymizer Universal ever be available for android users as well?

    Reply

  • Author comment by lance · August 16, 2010 at 10:34 am

    I would really like to support Android phones. We are looking at whether we could use our existing infrastructure and design with that platform.

    Reply

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