Google, Skype under scanner for security loopholes

Google, Skype under scanner for security loopholes

The threat of government action against BlackBerry on the grounds of security may be extended to Google and Skype.

Reports of action against the two communication providers came even as BlackBerry, whose officials on Friday met Union Home Secretary G K Pillai, seemed to have come down in the face of the government’s threat to cut off core features of the popular smart phone.
Government sources said India would go after any company, including Google and Skype, in its quest to keep the world’s fastest growing mobile phone market safe from militants and cyber spying.

It is claimed that the Indian authorities have been examining the Google messaging, Skype and other communication provides for more than a year. Internet giant Google is already locked in tension with Beijing over state censorship and cyber-attacks that the US company says originated in China, the world’s largest online market with 420 million users.

“I’m optimistic,” said Robert Crow, BlackBerry’s vice president for industry, government and university relations. He had also met with Home Minister P Chidambaram a day earlier.

In response to the Indian threat, RIM said it tried to be as cooperative as possible with governments “in the spirit of supporting legal and national security requirements”.  But it also wanted to preserve “the lawful needs of citizens and corporations”, according to a RIM statement. The company insisted: “RIM maintains a consistent global standard for lawful access requirements that does not include special deals for specific countries.”

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