International Espionage: Blackberry banned to French Officials25/06/2007 Written by Alberto Redi (halfmoon)
French officials aren’t any longer allowed to use Blackberry to send and receive e-mails because of security concerns, the newspaper Le Monde reports .
The fear for potential espionage activities - specifically, snooping by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA)- convinced French authorities to forbid the use of Blackberry devices in ministries and in other governmental areas.A similar warning had been already released 18 months ago by France’s General Secretariat for National Defense.
The warning was based on a study by French head of economic intelligence, pointing out the security threats brought about Blackberries.
RIM, the company producing Blackberry devices, immediately answered that Blackberry solutions are granted by secure encryption codes : “No one, including RIM, has the ability to view the content of any data communication sent using the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution because all the data is encrypted using 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption, and the origin of the e-mails cannot be traced or analyzed for content,” it added.In spite of the doubt that are often expressed about the effectiveness of Blackberry’s security protections, many official institutions chose it as the solution for wireless transmission of sensitive and classified data. NATO, the UK Government, and security agencies in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Austria and Canada are among them.