Its been long hearing about the buzz around Indian Govt and some other Govt fearing from the way push messaging being handled, Indian Intelligence Services even sent notices to Blackberry and Nokia like in past to close their operations or provide them access to the content of mails being sent/ received from Indian origin. Both of the companies then promised to respond to the concern in positive by first week November itself, which was extended later on. Finally today, Nokia India officially acknowledged to Indian Govt that they have installed dedicated servers for Nokia Messaging in India (includes Mails and Messengers).
Nokia India Vice President and MD D Shivakumar called on Home Secretary G K Pillai on Today and handed over the letter, saying the company has conformed with all requirements suggested by the law enforcement agencies. The company, however, assured its customers that their privacy would be protected, even while fulfilling public responsibility and legal obligations. "As a responsible corporate citizen, we follow all local laws and regulations that are required by the government authorities" it added.
As per the press release, Nokia India seems to have provided Indian Govt. a tool that provides the real time intercept of the content and also facilitates location of the mobile device generating emails. The services installed by Nokia include authentication server, email enterprise server, and configuration database servers, which will ensures that the authentication happens within India and the database will reside within India.
Blackberry been the center of the heat as push messaging and secrecy of the same been core of their services till now. They already replied that the security architecture they follow is the same around the globe and changing it would be something like changing the whole of the technology and industry. They mentioned that it will cover almost half of the internet itself like Twitter, Gmail, Skype, Facebook, Nokia Messaging, Yahoo and all. RIM said they truly had no ability to provide the agencies its customer’s encryption keys. Indian Govt. already provided them time till Jan, 2011 to address the concerns raised by security agencies and RIM yet to revert on the same.
Concerns from various government been around the point that RIM and Nokia like companies are keeping centralized servers in some other part of world other than the country they are providing services within. Those countries might have other set of rules and regulations than the particular country and may pose issues while they want to monitor the services in any way for even serious concerns.
But question still remains that what this fuss is all about? Is really privacy of customers on sake? Is really Indian Govt. or other agencies in competence to monitor things at such a large scale? Biggest question is “Do you think that someone will use Blackberry Mails/ Messengers or NM Messaging when they don’t even hang on over same number for long?”
I am giving you two of few tricks that already being used in crime and terrorist world for exchange of information via web.
Think few of the random looking pictures posted on twitpic via random accounts, which may be named in some innocent comment on some blog. And all those random pics forming one encrypted message. Are you going to decrypt that?
A Gmail account, who login details may be shared among two parties and information might be easily passed on by writing into drafts only. No sending of mails, no data exchange. Who gonna track that?
As of now, we don’t think that such an exercise gonna bring anything better for the consumers except if the Nokia Messaging Services actually start working in better ways. What you think?