August 17, 2010

Pt 1: India & RIM - Research In Motion, the Canadian company that makes the BlackBerry wireless device, is under pressure to give the Indian Government partial access to the information sent across the devices. The Indian Government argues that monitoring communications is necessary in order to combat terrorism. But others say it would undermine personal privacy and corporate security. (Read More)

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Pt 2: Neo-Colonalism in Chad - Like many African countries, Chad is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of its independence. But France still has a lot of influence. And many Chadians wonder just how independent they really are. (Read More)

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Whole Show Blow-by-Blow

Today's guest host was Mike Finnerty.

IIt's Tuesday August 17th.

Scientists suggest the only way we'll be able to feed 9 billion people in 2050 is by growing artificial meat.

Currently, it better not taste like chicken.

This is The Current.

India & RIM - Amol Sharma

We started this segment with a clip from Robert Crowe speaking on Friday. He's a Vice President with Research In Motion. And he was coming out of a meeting with officials at India's Interior Ministry.

For weeks, RIM has been trying to resist the Indian Government's demand for more access to the data exchanged on its BlackBerry wireless devices. The Indian Government says terrorists could be using BlackBerry's iron-clad encrypted system to communicate and organize in secret. And it has threatened to ban BlackBerries from the country if RIM doesn't give in.

The BlackBerry's security system has always been one of its key selling points ... and RIM has been reluctant to do anything to jeopardize that. But the idea of saying goodbye to India's one million BlackBerry users isn't very appealing either. So... in the end, it appears that RIM is cutting a deal. Or as the Hindustan Times put it more crudely: "Blackberry Blinks" ... and "falls into line"

Amol Sharma has been covering the story for the Wall Street Journal. He was in Delhi.

India & RIM - John Bumgarner

John Bumgarner thinks that RIM is making a mistake by agreeing to turn over too much access to the Indian Government ... a mistake that could have far-reaching consequences. He's the Chief Technology Officer with the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit. It's an independent, non-profit research organization that investigates the strategic and economic consequences of potential cyber attacks. He was in Charlotte, North Carolina this morning.

India & RIM - Nick Schulz

Nick Schulz says he's not surprised India has been pushing to monitor BlackBerry traffic. Nick Schulz is the Editor-In-Chief of American.com, the American Enterprise Institute's online journal. He writes extensively about technology and politics and he was in Washington.

We made several calls requesting an interview with Research in Motion, but those calls were not returned.


Neo-Colonalism in Chad - Acheikh Ibn-Oumar

Chad is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of its independence from France. But for many Chadians, that independence is still a work in progress. Chad still uses the French language. Its currency is based on the French Franc. The French military has a thousand troops stationed in the city. And France still has a lingering influence on Chadian politics.

So this morning, as part of our on-going series, Africa at 50, we looked at how independent Chad really is. And we began with some thoughts from the streets of the capital, N'Djamena.

Over the years, the French Military has been a powerful player in Chadian politics. It's a strong supporter of the current President, General Idriss Déby. Under President Déby's rule, Chad has become one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Despite its new-found oil wealth, it's also one of the poorest. And there have been attempts to push President Déby out of office.

Two-and-a-half years ago, rebels stormed the Presidential palace and nearly overthrew the government. Many observers believe the regime would have fallen if it hadn't been for the French soldiers stationed in the capital. Acheikh Ibn-Oumar represents the Union of Forces of the Resistance, a coalition of rebel forces that led the attack. He was in Paris.

Neo-Colonalism in Chad - Roland Marchal

For a broader perspective on the relationship between Chad and France, we were joined by Roland Marchal. He studies French policy in Africa at the Centre for International Studies and Research at Sciences-Po University in Paris.

Neo-Colonalism in Chad - Bruno Maigret

We requested an interview with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We were told that no one from the ministry could be made available to speak with us. But Colonel Bruno Maigret agreed to join us. He's the Commander of l'Épervier, the French military force in Chad. He was in the capital, N'Djamena.

And we gave the last word on the subject to President Idriss Déby. Last week, he suggested that it might be time for Chad to re-think its military ties with France. We aired a clip

Our on-going series, Africa at 50 is about how different parts of the continent are doing, 50 years after many African countries won their independence. Check out our website for more.

Music Bridge

Artist: Euphoria
Cd: Beautiful My Child
Cut: 1, Sweet Rain
Label: Six Degrees
Spine: 657036 1045

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