In the recent days you would have heard lot of news about BlackBerry getting into troubles in many countries. UAE and Saudi Arabia already banned e-mail, web browsing and messaging features of BlackBerry smart phone in their countries. India is also considering to impose a similar ban on BlackBerry services. But why are these countries banning?
How a BlackBerry Works?
Lets look at the way how a BlackBerry exchanges information first. The following diagram depicts BlackBerry exchanging voice, email, messaging and other application data(click on the image for bigger view) with the servers.
Unlike the Apple/Nokia mobiles who uses open standards, BlackBerry uses a highly secured and proprietary data transmission mechanism. Every piece of information that leaves a BlackBerry phone is encrypted and it can only be decrypted by the BlackBerry network data center in Canada. This means that no one can actually understand the encrypted message that travel through the wireless networks and internet.
BlackBerry’s Encryption – Head Ache for Governments
BlackBerry communications are highly secured and they are used by military and government agencies for their communication. Even the president of United States, Mr. Obama uses a BlackBerry for his email communication.
As there is no way for the Government Agencies to intercept the communication that happens through BlackBerry devices, they are considering this as a threat to their national security. In fact it is! For example anti-national elements can communicate with each other over a BlackBerry network without allowing any security agencies to intercept the communication. Not a good thing for security agencies ha!
To get out of this issue, RIM, the manufacturer of BlackBerry mobiles, should find a way to allow every country to intercept it’s users communication that happens through BlackBerry’s. Otherwise, more and more countries may consider banning BlackBerrys.