Far from giving in to demands from other countries about access to its encrypted data, Research In Motion (RIM) has published its own set of guidelines on what constitutes ‘lawful access purposes’ governments can seek. The question is, will government bodies approve of RIM’s guidelines, or insist upon their own standards?
Some time back, RIM was reported to be in the midst of discussions with Saudi Arabia regarding access to its customers’ encrypted data. Needless to say, the news of such developments quickly gained traction, and India was next in line to request access to RIM’s encrypted data, giving the smartphone giant a deadline of August 31 before its services are banned.
However, instead of just simply caving in and granting countries access to its secure data, RIM has apparently decided to make public a set of guidelines in which government bodies are allowed to to request for such access. No specifics are given, abut RIM has listed four main principles which will determine its degree of cooperation with authorities over the release of its secure data, as listed below.
Of course, making a list of guidelines public is only half the battle: the other half will depend on government bodies’ willingness to accept the terms and conditions as set out by RIM. However, if we were to hazard a guess, our hunch will be that most government bodies may take issue with principle 3, simply because it greatly limits the data which can be lawfully accessed. But we will have to wait and see.