Research in Motion’s ongoing struggles with foreign governments over its high-tech encryption system for secured messages has now got the United Nations talking.
The U.N. says that the Canadian Blackberry manufacturer should give law enforcement agencies around the world access to its customer data, stating that governments have legitimate security concerns that shouldn’t be ignored. Quoth The Globe:
RIM is embroiled in parallel disputes with at least five countries – India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates – over concerns that the smart phone’s powerful encryption technology could be used as a cover for terrorism or criminal activity.
Civil libertarians have argued that the controversy is fuelled by authoritarian governments’ frustration over their inability to eavesdrop on Blackberry-using citizens.
Governments in the U.S. and Europe have largely made their peace with encryption technology, but officials in Asia and the Middle East have demanded that RIM modify its practices to allow them wholesale access to BlackBerry e-mails as they’re being transmitted.
As RIM’s stock continues to slide, the embattled tech giant must make a decision: does it rethink its famously secured system that got it where it is today? Or does it maintain its position and watch its global influence wane?