Encryption Software: Turkey Banning BlackBerrys?.

Well, it looks like Turkey is now asking for access to communications sent from BlackBerry devices.  The level of data encryption provided by BBs is apparently too much for the Turkish government to handle.

Déjà Vu, UAE and India

It was earlier this year that the UAE and Indian governments also pressed for receiving access to missives from BBs, otherwise threatening a ban of BlackBerry devices.  As far as I know, the UAE eventually stepped down without really giving a reason why, whereas the Indian government extended some type of moratorium based on some test that would take two months to evaluate.

Now, Turkey has joined the fray, asking RIM, the maker of BlackBerrys (BlackBerries?) to give their encryption codes to the government’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority (Bilgi Teknolojileri ve ?leti?im Kurumu, or BTK, in Turkish).

Well…That’d Be Useless….

If that’s what they want, I’d encourage RIM to go ahead.  I mean, if it’s the encryption code they want, I happen to know that BlackBerry uses AES and Triple DES.  How the code, or algorithm, works is public knowledge.

On the other hand, my guess is that the Turkish government is more interested in the encryption key that is used to encrypt content.  While the encryption algorithm is made public, so that anyone can come along and analyze whether there are weaknesses to it, the encryption key is kept secret.

RIM has repeatedly stipulated that they do not hold, nor know, what the individual encryption keys used by their clients happens to be.  It’s actually a very elegant way of providing security, when you think about it.

Encryption “Does Not Work?” *Snort*

Further proof that encryption works.  I don’t know what else we in the data security community can present in order to make our case.  The security technology that powers BB devices above are the same encryption algorithms used in our AlertBoot disk encryption software, except that it protected the contents of your hard drives, and not messages sent from a device the size of your hand.

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