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RIM attempts to meet India’s BlackBerry demands

by Sarah Griffiths on 13 August 2010, 17:09


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Solution scramble

RIM has bowed to pressure from India to tackle the BlackBerry ‘security threat' and will reportedly present technical solutions to help Indian officials read encrypted message data, next week.

‘A senior government source' told Reuters: "They [RIM, maker of BlackBerrys] have assured us that they will come with some technical solution for messenger and enterprise mail next week. Our technical team will evaluate if it works."

RIM will hope its future move will prevent a ban on its handsets' messenger and encrypted email functions. India has given the smartphone maker until 31 August to meet its request of gaining access to the private messages and allaying its ‘security fears' or services will be closed.

BlackBerry officials are said to have met with Indian authorities, with Robert Crow, a VP at the firm buoyant about RIM's future in the world's fast growing mobile market. "It is a step in a long journey," he reportedly said.

RIM is under fire from many governments who want decryption codes and fear militants may be using BlackBerry's encrypted services to communicate. However, it now seems other companies may incur the wrath of concerned governments too.

Reuters' source said the Indian government is also worried about the security of internet phone services like Skype and Google messaging, which could allow terrorist communication and ‘cyber spying'.  It reportedly plans on talking to the companies and has been keeping an eye on them for over a year.

An anonymous ‘senior interior security official' told Reuters: "Wherever there is a concern on grounds of national security the government will want access and every country has a right to lawful interference."

India has already reportedly cracked down on imports of mobile kit. Chinese manufacturers ZTE and Huawei Technologies have been temporarily banned from shipping phones to the country due to concerns of embedded spyware.

India's ban threat follows RIM's deal with Saudi Arabia, where the authorities are now believed to have access to BlackBerry users' IM messages. 

Perhaps due to the Saudi agreement, one senior employee at an Indian phone operator told Reuters no-one expects a BlackBerry ban and thinks a solution will be found before the deadline.

HEXUS Forums :: 2 Comments

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So free speech is out the window in India then I guess.
So free speech is out the window in India then I guess.

Wouldn't happen here, the government spying on our communications…

Oh wait…