RIM Has Different Levels Of Security For Business And Consumers…. Shock… Not…

Adding to the news that RIM folded up like a cheap suit to Saudi Arabia, is the fact that RIM apparently has a higher grade of security for it’s business customers than it does for “Joe Average”:

However, several engineers, analysts and security experts who spoke to The Globe and Mail said there is a significant difference between RIM’s corporate product and its consumer BlackBerrys. While enterprise traffic is encrypted end-to-end, passing through RIM’s own secure servers, consumer traffic is essentially reliant on local carriers, which in countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE are easily monitored by local authorities.

“[The consumer product] is very easy to crack,” said Frost & Sullivan telecom analyst Ronald Gruia, “They could monitor 90 per cent of users – they’re talking about the 10 per cent who use the enterprise product.

That’s not a surprise to me. There’s really no reason for RIM to invest the sort of effort to provide business level security to consumers as consumers don’t really care (until very recently) about that. One thing that this little revelation will do is change the behavior of those who want to hide their activities from the authorities:

Ironically, the governments’ publicly stated goal of improving national security may well have taken a hit as a result of the public feud, which has made it more clear to everyone – including potential criminals – the vast difference between security on enterprise and non-enterprise BlackBerrys.

I can see it now. Criminals, terrorists and organized criminals are going to go out and get BlackBerry Enterprise Server so that prying eyes are kept away from their evil plans. After all, it’s a free download and anyone with an IT background can set it up as long as you have your own e-mail server. Great going Saudi Arabia and company. You’re no closer to ensuring that your nations are safe from evil. In fact, you’re further away from that goal now.

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