Keeping The BlackBerry, Ctd.

By Patrick Appel
A reader writes:

It might be worth pointing out that NOBODY in any position of clearance or national security  - especially the President of The United States - should use Blackberry email for official business. Anybody who has ever worked as an email admin and supported Blackberry users is fully aware that every message travels across national borders and into Canada and then back out of Canada again, using the public internet. Research In Motion, makers of the Blackberry, act as the delivery hub between email servers and cellular phone networks, and their servers are located in Waterloo, Ontario.

And I may remember this incorrectly, but I do not recall ever setting up or enabling encryption on the conversations between the Blackberry servers inside a private network, and Research In Motion. That would mean that all such correspondence travels "in the clear" and is readable as plain text.

It sounds like the Obama folks have thought of this.

Update: Another reader corrects:

I'm a former employee of Research In Motion and I have to note that your reader is incorrect. E-mail between the server behind a corporate firewall and a BlackBerry phone is encrypted end-to-end. I believe these messages do travel through Waterloo, but the content is encrypted with keys that are created and exchanged only within the private network of the corporation.


Having said that, I still wouldn't suggest using any commercial wireless device for information relevant to national security!