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Help determine where BlackBerry servers are

Who's watching your BlackBerry? Thanks to the Canadian research group Infowar Monitor, you can help find out. With the recent discovery that governments are demanding access to encrypted BlackBerry data and other content, Infowar is inviting BlackBerry users to take part in Project Rim Check at to find out exactly "who has access to what."

This summer, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and a number of other governments threatened to ban Research in Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry services if the company did not make encrypted BlackBerry data and other content available to them. A major concern of these regimes is that BlackBerry data can be encrypted and routed through servers located outside of their jurisdictions - thus making it near impossible to scrutinise.

Rumour has it that RIM has made data sharing agreements with India, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Other countries are also demanding that the company locate data centres within their jurisdictions.

Enter Project Rim Check, which will monitor BlackBerry data traffic flow and help Infowar researchers determine the location of RIM's servers - and see if RIM is indeed making any concessions.

The site will automatically collect some of your information, such as your IP address. You are asked to specify the country you are in, what type of BlackBerry service you have, and your carrier's name and location, among other options.

The project is "inspired by a broad need to monitor the activities of private sector actors that own and operate cyberspace, particularly as they come under increasing pressure to cooperate with governments on national surveillance and censorship laws," the makers told Reporters Without Borders (RSF), which has endorsed the project.

Infowar Monitor is a partnership between the University of Toronto's famous Citizen Lab, a technology and human rights research centre, and SecDev Group, an Ottawa-based think tank.

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