Encryption battle erupts over Blackberry phones

The far-flung folks of Euronet Worldwide represent just one of many armies of corporate warriors toting BlackBerry phones around the globe.

Those keyboard-centric gadgets not only let Euronet troops easily call central offices in Leawood and Budapest, but they also outfit those workers to send highly encrypted e-mails.

That means they can share sensitive messages about the company’s network of ATMs and other money-handling machines without worry that a competitor or criminal is likely to eavesdrop.

But now a showdown between commerce and sovereignty threatens to disarm those forces. Ongoing talks could ban the BlackBerry in some countries or, perhaps just as critical, remove the cloak of encryption that makes its e-mails secure.

“One of the reasons we use the BlackBerry is the strong encryption,” said Dave Spickard, Euronet’s director of information technology. “It would definitely cause some issues if that was lost.”

Read the complete story at