Blackberry vs. World: Tech Freedom?

The Blackberry saga. The businessman’s handheld organizer is facing the heat from intelligences bosses worldwide. High tech vs. high security. Plus, Net neutrality and the Google-Verizon proposal.

A BlackBerry user displays a text message sent by his service provider notifying him of the suspension of services, at a mobile shop in Dubai, Aug. 5, 2010 (AP)

Around the world, national security, government control, and high technology do a wary dance in our era. Center stage right now – the Blackberry – the potent little handheld device that tethers so many businesspeople around the planet to their work.

Blackberry communications are highly encrypted. Governments don’t like that. Some say it can abet terrorists.

In recent weeks, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, India and more have threatened to shut down the Blackberry party in their countries. We examine the Blackberry saga and the debate — high tech versus high security.

Plus, later on, we look at Net neutrality and the Google-Verizon proposal that has raised eyebrows.

-Tom Ashbrook


Matt Hartley, technology reporter for the Financial Post (Toronto, Canada).

Jonathan Zittrain, professor of law and computer science at Harvard University, where he’s founder and director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. He’s author of “The Future of the Internet — and How to Stop It.” You can hear his On Point interview on that book and also listen to his take on cloud computing.

Richard Falkenrath, former National Security Council staffer and Homeland Security official under President George W. Bush and ex-Deputy Commissioner of Counter-Terrorism of the New York City Police Department. He’s now a principal with the Chertoff Group, a security consulting firm. You can read his Op-Ed in the New York Times, “Texting with Terrorists.”

Peter Suderman, columnist and associate editor at Reason magazine and His column last week was titled “No More Net Neutrality?”

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