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BlackBerry banned in France

French officials fear UK BlackBerry snoops

French officials are to be banned from using RIM (Research in Motion's) BlackBerry handheld devices.

Le Monde says that French security officials are concerned that messages could be intercepted by US intelligence agencies because BlackBerry devices run through US and British servers. French economic intelligence official Alain Juillet said that the BlackBerry "poses a problem of data security".

But the ban isn't sticking, with French officials using the BlackBerry devices "in secret".

BlackBerry handheld devices - so popular they have termed 'CrackBerries' - can send and receive emails and be used as mobile telephones. BlackBerry manufacturer RIM refutes the French fears.

A RIM spokesperson told ITN: "The NSA does not have the ability to view the content of any data communication sent through BlackBerry IT servers.

"All data communications sent through the BlackBerry IT servers are encrypted and the origin of the e-mails cannot be traced or analysed for content.

"RIM continues to be committed to working with and supporting the needs of both corporate and government customers within France, including protecting data from attack and unauthorised access."


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