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French BlackBerry Restriction More About Commerce Than Security

Richard Weitz Thursday, Aug. 2, 2007

Earlier this year, the French General Secretariat for National Defense (SGDN) reaffirmed a warning to French policymakers that the ubiquitous BlackBerry represents a potential intelligence vulnerability when used to transmit sensitive information. The BlackBerry is a handheld computer developed by the Canadian firm Research in Motion (RIM) that allows users to forward electronic messages sent via the Internet (email) to the device.

According to French sources, the main SGDN concern is that the security framework used by the BlackBerry to transmit email is vulnerable to interception by British and American intelligence. As a result, the French government restricted its use by French Ministries, in the office of the president or prime minister's office, or by high-ranking civil servants. ...

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