Once upon a time, RIM, the maker of Blackberry, was known for excellent security in communications.
So much so that unscrupulous governments sought to ban it – lest they not be able to spy on their citizens.
Now, RIM seems to have rolled over and decided to let governments trample over its users’ civil liberties:
‘RIM recently demonstrated a solution developed by a firm called Verint that can intercept messages and emails exchanged between BlackBerry handsets, and make these encrypted communications available in a readable format to Indian security agencies, according to an exchange of communications between the Canadian company and the Indian government.’
RIM had originally built its reputation – and marketshare – based on the security the encryption it put all messages through provided. Its encryption was so secure, governments that would like to monitor their citizens’ communication threatened to shut them out of their marketplace.
Hence the flop.
Without this enhanced security, however, there is little to elevate their product over cheaper or ‘sexier’ smart phones.
This, therefore, is a serious gamble on the part of RIM: will access to the Indian market permit them to grow, or will this latest corruption of the security of its communications be the last nail in their coffin?