India has delayed a ban on certain BlackBerry services for 60 days while it studies mechanisms proposed by the handset maker Research In Motion (RIM) enabling "lawful access" to encrypted data.
The ban on the instant messaging and corporate email services was to start today. Last-minute talks between RIM and government officials, reported by Business Traveller yesterday (see news), helped avert the move.
The government issued a statement early this morning (Hongkong time) saying: "The Home Ministry will review the security issue relating to Blackberry services within 60 days, by which time the Department of Telecommunications will submit its report."
It mentioned that RIM made "certain proposals for lawful access by law enforcement agencies and these would be operationalised immediately”.
Indian authorities, along with others the Middle East and Asia, believe that BlackBerry’s secure services are a threat to national security as data is encrypted and transmitted via overseas servers that cannot be decoded or intercepted.