Indian Trade Minister Anand Sharma was in Ottawa discussing various trade issues along with BlackBerry ban. India has been demanding the mobile phone maker “Research in Motion – RIM” to provide access for the government to its highly encrypted BlackBerry services.
The Indian government has set a deadline previously (30 August) to decide whether to provide access for security forces to the encrypted services of messaging and e-mail services, or leave India. The RIM has offered several ways to allow security authorities to monitor BlackBerry communications. The government extended its deadline to 60 more days to check the feasibility of the ways offered by BlackBerry.
Doctor suggests what patient wants
Canadian trade minister Peter Van Loan after meeting with his Indian minister of commerce and industry, Anand Sharma, said that he believed the India was seeking the same thing what Canadian laws provide to their people and he was hopeful that the agreement could be reached.
"In Canada, when the police or a security agency presents evidence to a judge and obtains a warrant, they are able to intercept telephone calls and other forms of communications," Van Loan said to reporters according to Reuters.
However, Mr. Van loan might not have interpreted exactly or nearly at least, what the Indian government sought, because according Canadian laws there existed a condition for security agencies to show evidence to enable them to intercept the communications. In India, there is no such law that requires evidence for police to go on to intercept any communication. The people have not way to know whether their phones are being intercepted, let alone claiming for privacy.
What India sought was total access to whatever communication services that BlackBerry provided. BlackBerry provides high encryption for corporate customers and somewhat lower encryption for individual customers. The servers are placed only at selected places, disallowing the governments to access the signals at sources.
The Indian government is bothered that the encrypted services would beneficial to extremists like Naxalites and terrorists like Lashkar-e-Toiba. Therefore, the government wanted access to the services in a readable format.
Perhaps the Canadian Minister was more concerned with the business interests than the democratic values of India. Of course, he need not bother about the democratic functioning of India. That is what he did and he diplomatically declared what India sought was what Canada intended to provide.
In the age of globalization, intercepting corporate services would be detrimental to the credibility of BlackBerry services to which many international corporate companies and their top staff are subscribers. It is a tough task ahead for BlackBerry and hence the ministerial level talks.