Last-minute talks to avert BlackBerry ban in India

30 Aug 2010

Research in Motion (RIM), the Canadian producer of BlackBerry, is in last-minute talks with the Indian government to avert the suspension of certain services due to take place on August 31, 2010.

As previously reported (see news), India wants "lawful access" to BlackBerry’s encrypted Instant Messaging and corporate email services. The Department of Telecom ordered telecom providers to suspend those services from August 31 if RIM did not come up with a plausible solution which enables authorities to monitor data transmission.

RIM has now announced that it will “lead an industry forum focused on supporting the lawful access needs of law enforcement agencies”, which would consist of RIM and other telecom providers working with the Indian government to develop “policies and processes aimed at preventing the misuse of strong encryption technology”.

Ahead of the talks, one interior minister said: “A final decision will be taken after considering all aspects and national security interests.”

India, along with other countries in the Middle East (see news) and Asia, has raised national security concerns regarding BlackBerry’s encrypted services, which transmit data via overseas servers that cannot be intercepted and decrypted. Authorities want access to the transmitted data for counter-terrorism efforts.

Alisha Haridasani

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