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Media Coverage on RIM Monitoring Project

Information Warfare Monitor (joint-activity of both the Citizen Lab and the SecDev Group) recently announced the launch of RIM Check. The RIM Check project is inspired by a broad need to monitor the activities of private sector actors that own and operate cyberspace, particularly as they come under increasing pressure to cooperate with governments on national surveillance and censorship laws, policies, and requests. Researchers of the Information Warfare Monitor project will analyze the data collected from the Web site over an extended period of time.

Information Warfare Monitor (Citizen Lab and SecDev Group) Announces RIM Monitoring Project

The RIM Check project is inspired by a broad need to monitor the activities of private sector actors that own and operate cyberspace, particularly as they come under increasing pressure to cooperate with governments on national surveillance and censorship laws, policies, and requests. Decisions taken by private sector actors, often at the behest of governments seeking access to their data or assistance blocking Web sites, can have major consequences for human rights. These decisions can lack transparency and public accountability. This project is meant to address that lack of transparency.

BlackBerry escapes blackout in UAE

“BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) today won a reprieve on the threat of a blackout on its 500,000 smartphone users in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), just days before security agencies were due to enforce a ban on email, messaging and web browsing on the devices.

After months of standoff between the Gulf and Canada, the UAE telecommunications regulator said on Friday that RIM had brought its devices into line with strict local jurisdictions on security and encryption. Although the details of the compromise are unknown, RIM is thought to have granted some access to communications passed between devices to the UAE government, though there is no confirmation of this from either side.”

From The Guardian

RIM vows to comply with Indonesian rules of the game: CEO

“The Indonesian government has requested Canada-based telecommunication giant Research In Motion Ltd (RIM), the maker of BlackBerry smartphones, to provide access into the company’s network and database in order for the local law enforcement agencies to intercept and scrutinize communications of suspected criminals and terrorists. Amid the mounting pressure, RIM’s co-chief executive officer Jim Balsillie talked recently to The Jakarta Post’s Rendi A. Witular over the government’s request, and the company’s flourishing business in Indonesia.”

From Jakarta Post

RIM looks for allies in spats with foreign governments

“With only five days left to reach an agreement before India bans its flagship services, the BlackBerry maker is reaching out with a last-minute compromise that would allow it to continue operating in the country. It proposed an “industry forum” of technology and communications players to work with the Indian government.

Ronald Deibert, a University of Toronto professor who advises governments on Internet security issues, said RIM’s tactic of trying to include others in the discussion mimics the approach taken by Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc., which both ran into privacy and human rights concerns in China. This helped create the Global Network Initiative, which has drafted principles for dealing with government pressure.”

From The Globe and Mail

India to get partial BlackBerry access

“Research In Motion has assured Indian authorities of limited access to its Messenger services by Sept. 1 and will hold talks this week on giving access to enterprise mail, a government source said on Monday.

RIM faces an Aug. 31 deadline to give Indian authorities the means to read e-mail and instant messages sent over the BlackBerry.

“They have assured partial access to its messenger services by September 1 and agreed to provide full access by the end of the year,” a senior government source, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

New Delhi says it will pull the plug if RIM does not comply, threatening its future in the world’s fastest-growing telecoms market.

“We hope they will address our security concerns,” an interior ministry official said.”

From The Globe and Mail

Also see HERE

Weak link in the security of websites discovered

“It seems that there is a potentially serious security flaw in the way that some banking, e-commerce and financial websites rely on third-party digital certificate portals for their security.

According to a weekend report in the New York Times, because the number of ‘certificate authorities’ has blossomed into the hundreds, it is becoming “increasingly difficult to trust” that sites are not using the certificates for nefarious purposes.

The New York Times says that the power to appoint certificate authorities has been delegated by browser makers like Microsoft, Mozilla, Google and Apple to various companies, including Verizon. “Those entities, in turn, have certified others, creating a proliferation of trusted ‘certificate authorities’ according to internet security researchers”, says the paper.

But the bad news, the electronic civil liberties organisation says, is that some of these organisations are in countries like Russia and China, which are suspected of engaging in widespread surveillance of their citizens.”

From InfoSecurity.com

The end of online privacy

“The traditional notions of privacy and anonymity – and even the revamped versions that arose with the Web two decades ago – are dying. If you think the long-form census is pushy for asking you how many bedrooms are in your house, imagine someone knowing the exact colour of the IKEA sheets you’re thinking of buying for your bed.

Indeed, a variety of players – including state security agencies to Internet marketers to organized-crime circles – are creating an online world in which the very concept of anonymity has basically vanished. “There is this pressure bearing down on anonymity with the coming securitization of the Internet,” says Mr. Deibert, the director of the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto.

Privacy legislation in many countries was never tailored for the Internet age. As such, a host of nations – including Canada – are rethinking the very concept, and how to protect it in a world where personal information is becoming a form of currency.”

From The Globe and Mail

Fight for data access spreads beyond RIM

“As Research In Motion faces an increasingly public dispute with several countries over the ability to monitor communication on its BlackBerry devices, virtually all other major technology communications companies have remained silent on the issue. That may soon change: RIM is likely just the first test case.

The government of India indicated yesterday that RIM isn’t the only company from which it will demand greater monitoring access. State authorities listed Internet phone company Skype SA and Google Inc., provider of the wildly popular Gmail service, as targets.

The move signals that the issue of monitoring data traffic goes far beyond RIM’s encrypted BlackBerrys – and probably has more to do with a looming collision between the advance of digital communication and the security demands of the state than with the Ontario company’s technology.”

From The Globe and Mail

BlackBerry could face shutdown Thursday in India

“NEW DELHI – India may temporarily shut down BlackBerry services if security concerns are not addressed in a meeting on Thursday, sources said, in a signal the Canadian firm’s tussle with authorities around the world is far from over.

The latest ultimatum for BlackBerry maker Research In Motion comes a day after the company agreed to hand over user codes that would let Saudi authorities monitor its BlackBerry Messenger, as it seeks to stop the kingdom from silencing the service, a source said on Tuesday.”

From The Toronto Star