I am still not sure if anybody at RIM has sat down with the folks in India and explained to them how BlackBerry encryption works. Regular consumer BIS and BBM conversations are NOT encrypted which means carriers and governments could view the contents if they had access to the data stream through the carrier. This is nothing new and has been the case for years. We covered this detail in an article back in August of last year on “What communication is encrypted on your BlackBerry.” To sum it up your regular BIS email is not encrypted between your device and the carriers BIS server only BES email is encrypted. BBM messages for consumers and most business users are also not encrypted but rather are scrambled using the same key found on any BlackBerry device unless a BES admin sets is differently which would stop you from BBM-ing anybody outside your BES.
The rocket scientists in India’s Department of Telecommunications seem to not have the technical savvy to read clear text on the wire so they have been hounding RIM to provide them a solution. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that RIM has given India’s DOT a solution to monitor email and BBM which essentially does what any carrier could do if they had the technical know how. India claims this is to protect from terrorists that are using “Encrypted Emails” the problem is RIM’s solution will not help them at all when it comes to this.
If a terrorist or any company uses a BlackBerry on a BES than all BES emails are encrypted and even RIM cannot give carriers access to them. In other words all they need to do to foil the brilliant rocket scientists at India’s DOT is setup their device on a BES server. There are tons of technologies just like this that India can also not monitor like SSL, VPN, PGP, etc but I guess India is still going to try.
Good luck folks!