[kwlug-disc] Blackberry kerfluffle matters? [Was: Firesheep: Open WiFi cookie stealing for the masses ...]

Khalid Baheyeldin kb at 2bits.com
Wed Oct 27 10:10:52 EDT 2010

On Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 1:34 AM, unsolicited <unsolicited at swiz.ca> wrote:

> Khalid Baheyeldin wrote, On 10/26/2010 8:24 PM:
>> On Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 8:11 PM, Lori Paniak
>> <ldpaniak at fourpisolutions.com>wrote:
>> The VPN solution is not going to be effective for real-time
>>> communications like VoIP or video (though there are other solutions
>>> there). Additionally, browsing the internet through your home VPN server
>>> is not particularly pleasant due to the <600kbps bottleneck on uploads
>>> from home.
>> It is usable indeed.
>> Companies who provide VPN services are making good money providing
>> VPN services for those in countries that block Skype (e.g. UAE, Thailand,
>> and others).
>> I personally know a few people who use VPN just for that reason.
>> Yes, there is a performance penalty, but it does not make VoIP unusable.
>  A VPN solves this for both notebooks as well as smartphones in a cafe.
> Given the prevalence of VPN as you say, was the whole Blackberry /
> governments banning their use if RIM doesn't open up the encryption so they
> can listen in on messages  kerfluffle overblown?
> i.e.  Companies that care have gone to IM / e-mail / whatever over VPN
> instead?

>From what I understand, talking to a few RIM people, RIM itself cannot snoop
on the Black Berry Messenger traffic itself even if it wanted. By design, it
was encrypted. Moreover, it is not stored anywhere. What changes did they
to appease India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, ...etc. I do not know.

So, say someone who is a terrorist or industrial spy arrive to a country
his own BlackBerry, and roaming as per agreement with his carrier and the
local one. His messages could not be traced in real time or after the fact.

So, countries have no control on things happening within their jurisdiction.

Of course, there is also censorship at play, but I think it is less of a
real problem
for the governments concerned.  VPNs overcome this, but some VPN providers
have to go through hoops since ISPs in some countries actively block VPNs.

Part of that is VoIP being used and the national telecom monopolies lose a
of inflated revenue from the expat population.

e.g. see the specific mention of Oman here

One of the uses of VPN for Canadians is the ability to see content that is
blocked to Canadian IP addresses.

This is one thing where the internet (and telecom) has changed the game. No
longer is everything local and the gates controlled. For better or for
Khalid M. Baheyeldin
2bits.com, Inc.
Drupal optimization, development, customization and consulting.
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. --  Edsger W.Dijkstra
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. --   Leonardo da Vinci
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