German ministers told to avoid BlackBerrys, iPhones

Aug 09, 2010
A user tries out the new Blackberry Torch 9800 smartphone on August 3 in New York City. The German government said Monday ministers and senior civil servants have been told not to use iPhone and BlackBerry mobile devices as the interior minister warned a "dramatic" rise in cyber attacks.

The German government said Monday ministers and senior civil servants have been told not to use iPhone and BlackBerry mobile devices as the interior minister warned a "dramatic" rise in cyber attacks.

An interior ministry spokesman told reporters they had been told to use instead Simko devices offered by Deutsche Telekom because of "urgent" advice from the federal IT security agency, the BSI.

BlackBerry smartphones, made by Canadian firm (RIM), offer a high level of protection for data and emails, but Berlin is reportedly uneasy that all data pass though two RIM centres in Britain and Canada.

Thomas de Maiziere, the interior minister, told the Handelsblatt business daily that there was a risk that malicious software might find its way onto government and corporate IT networks via the devices.

"The government must therefore keep it very much in mind that it has to protect its own network effectively," he told the newspaper in comments published on Monday.

"BlackBerry's infrastructure is a company-owned closed system. But the access standard must be capable of being set by the government and not by a private company."

The advice dates from 2009 but it has attracted German media attention because of efforts by Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, citing security concerns, to gain access to BlackBerry's encrypted data.

De Maiziere said that Germany was experiencing a "dramatic rise in attacks against our networks and in particular against government networks" at the hands of foreign intelligence agencies and organised crime.

Explore further: US proposes pay-for-priority Internet standards (Update 3)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Saudi Arabia orders Blackberry ban starting Friday

Aug 03, 2010

(AP) -- Saudi Arabia is ordering its mobile operators to halt BlackBerry services throughout the kingdom this week, heightening tensions between device maker Research in Motion Ltd. and governments demanding ...

Saudi BlackBerrys still online as 'talks progress'

Aug 07, 2010

BlackBerry users in Saudi Arabia said messaging services remained online on Saturday despite a ban, as a mobile phone company reported progress in talks with the smartphone's Canadian makers.

Indonesia joins countries mulling BlackBerry ban

Aug 04, 2010

(AP) -- Indonesia said Wednesday it is considering following the lead of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in banning BlackBerry services, adding to pressure on device maker Research in Motion Ltd. ...

US wades into BlackBerry disputes overseas

Aug 05, 2010

(AP) -- The Obama administration waded into the growing international dispute over the banning of BlackBerry services on Thursday, saying it is seeking to broker compromises between the company that makes the popular devices ...

UAE says BlackBerry is potential security threat

Jul 26, 2010

(AP) -- Emirati officials have declared BlackBerry smartphones a potential threat to national security because users' data is stored overseas, where local laws don't apply and where analysts say it could be harder for authorities ...

Recommended for you

Internet TV case: US justices skeptical, concerned

Apr 23, 2014

Grappling with fast-changing technology, U.S. Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether they can protect the copyrights of TV broadcasters to the shows they send out without strangling innovations in ...

Hundreds in Mexico protest telecommunications law

Apr 23, 2014

Hundreds of students and activists marched in Mexico's capital Tuesday to protest a telecommunications law being debated by the Senate that they say will allow the government to arbitrarily censor Internet content.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Genetic code of the deadly tsetse fly unraveled

Mining the genome of the disease-transmitting tsetse fly, researchers have revealed the genetic adaptions that allow it to have such unique biology and transmit disease to both humans and animals.