BlackBerry gives in, India grants two month extension

Tuesday, 31 August 2010, 03:14 Hrs   |    1 Comments
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New Delhi: BlackBerry phone maker Research in Motion (RIM) gave in to the Indian government's pressure and said it would consider setting up a server in India to help security agencies monitor its encrypted data.

In doing so, RIM got a two-month extension for continuing its services, the home ministry said. There are over a million subscribers of BlackBerry services in India. A majority of them are corporates.

The stop-gap arrangement came after a meeting between officials of the home and telecom ministries and RIM.

"It was decided that the department of telecommunications would study the feasibility of all such services being provided through a server located only in India," the home ministry said in a statement.

The meeting was chaired by Home Secretary G.K. Pillai and was attended by Special Secretary (Internal Security) U.K Bansal and officials from the telecom department, the Intelligence Bureau and the National Technical Research Organisation.

The government had set a Aug 31 deadline for RIM to provide access to its messenger and enterprise solutions, which routed encrypted data through company-owned servers, making it virtually impossible for any agency to track such data.

The home ministry had asked RIM to give access to its encrypted data or face a ban, saying such devices could be misused by terrorists and others.

"RIM has made certain proposals for lawful access by law enforcemenet agencies and these would be operationalised immediately," the statement added.

RIM will, however, have to work with the telecom department to work out a feasible solution to grant access to its messaging and enterprise solutions, the statement said.

During the meeting, home ministry officials said any communication through the telecom networks should be accessible by the law enforcemnet agencies and all telecom service providers, including third parties, will have to comply with this.

"Ministry of home affairs will review the situation within 60 days, by which time the Department of Telecommunication is expected to submit its report," said the statement. "The feasibility of the solution offered would be assessed thereafter," it added.
Source: IANS
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