Monday, August 16, 2010

Internet era espionage pits spy against tech


(AFP)

SAN FRANCISCO — Clashes between the maker of Blackberry smart phones and India, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the latest rounds in a cat-and-mouse game pitting authorities against technologies racing beyond their grasp.

"What is going on is this elegant dance we go through when countries think their sovereignty is being threatened by new technology," said Mark Rasch, who headed the computer crimes division at the US Department of Justice for nine years.

"Governments are very ready to deploy technology that invades privacy, but privacy enhancing technologies make them nervous."

Security experts put the row over Blackberry encryption capabilities in the context of decades of skirmishing around the security implications of new Internet and communications technologies -- a battle that today also touches services like Google's Talk messaging system and the telephone and video services provided by Skype.

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