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Issue 451 -- Sept 18- 24, 2010
Blackberry Maker In A Spot Over Secure Data
By Esmond Shahonya
Mumbai, India, September 18, 2010 – India has joined a number of nations raising concerns over the BlackBerry smart phone.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) threatened to ban BlackBerry e-mail messaging and web browsing to gain control over the users’ transmitted data.
Other countries which are reported to have floated a similar demand are Kuwait, Lebanon, and Algeria.
The BlackBerry smart phones have a secure data transmission which puts government authorities in a difficult position in monitoring the information.
The manufacturer uses an encryption that cannot be easily cracked. And that is where the trouble started.
The pace at which technology is growing day by day in itself comes along with sporadic challenges.
One of the main aspects has been security. Notably, in regard to mobile communication security issues, the BlackBerry is not alone in these troubled waters. The Communication Commission of Kenya will deactivate unregistered Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards.
Registration of SIMs is aimed at abating mobile phone related crimes.
Kenya joins Ghana, Botswana, Nigeria, and South Africa and neighbouring Tanzania that had embraced the exercise.
Loss of revenue
But the move has thrown mobile phone operators into a spin. They fear a looming revenue loss in case of deactivation of lines of the defaulters.
Moreover, the SIM card registration might not be an ultimate solution to Information Communication Technology (ICT)-related crime.
Kenya and African nations require some modern tools in combating technically evolving crimes.
In this era of IP based systems and technology advances, the type of ‘white collar’ crimes linked with ICT keep on evolving.
In the West, some developed countries use sophisticated technologies to get their job done.
The governments and spy agencies have an upper hand in monitoring information on ICTs and the internet super-highway.
Intelligence on digital platforms in such countries is a priority with dedicated resources of tracking terrorists and cyber criminals in the virtual World Wide Web.
It is interesting that the super powers can as well infiltrate into governmental networks and spy on certain issues.
Some security measures in the current digital life can easily infringe on the fundamental human rights and anonymity of the internet.
In real sense, if a country decides to mess with the freedom of the internet it becomes state censorship and will attract global criticism like in China’s case.
At times the delicate balance is a reality to bear in the quest for a secure ICT world.
—The writer is a Tele-communication Engineer. Shahonya76@gmail.com.
Source: The Standard