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Saudi Arabia has become the second country to ban Blackberry

The rumors were true: Saudi Arabia has become the second country to block access to BlackBerry devices on its territory for reasons of national security. Although the actual cause of discontent was the inability to listen to the device by the security services.

The ban came into force after August 6, after the delay granted to telecommunications companies, during which operators had to somehow bring the device (and in particular the ability to encrypt email) into line with the laws of the country.

The Communications and Information Technology Authority of the country warned local providers STC, Mobily and Zain that they would have to stop servicing Blackberry devices for several days. The government placed the blame on the providers themselves and on RIM (communicator manufacturer), which allows you to send secure messages and encrypt conversations using Blackberry.

To provide secure data transmission for its devices, RIM uses several distributed control centers for its network, the traffic between them and end devices is encrypted, which prevents most world governments from accessing the information transmitted.
The encryption used by RIM turned out to be so good that the security services of the neighboring United Arab Emirates could not access the messages of people using Blackberry, and therefore the maintenance of devices in the country was suspended.

These two countries are relatively small markets for RIM, but not such that they could be neglected. Arab news agencies estimate that over 500,000 Blackberry devices are used in the UAE and another 750,000 in Saudi Arabia.

India, Russia and China also put pressure on RIM, threatening to oust the company from their own markets, but they softened when the company made concessions, allowing them to listen to their communicators.

Most countries have agreements with RIM, reached during negotiations, that the national security services can decode and listen to the traffic of Blackberry devices if necessary. For example, in Russia, MTS and VimpelCom were able to sell these devices only when they agreed to provide access to the transmitted data of the FSB.

In India and China, the launch of Blackberry services was also suspended until an agreement was signed with RIM and security services. Although the company itself refuses to comment on its agreements with government organizations, adding that it respects the laws and requirements of countries as well as the inviolability of private and corporate negotiations.

RIM explains that the network was originally designed so that no one, even RIM itself, could access the data being transferred. The location of the servers does not matter. And the company does not have a “special button”, by clicking on which it will be possible to access the traffic.
Nevertheless, it is clear that the ability to decrypt data exists and is successfully used, although how it is implemented is not entirely clear.

Based on: blog Bruce Schneier and arstechnica

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/101652/

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