No agreement with RIM in India

Indian authorities still working with RIM on BlackBerry monitoring solution

Tags: BlackBerryBlackBerry MessengerIndiaResearch In Motion
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No agreement with RIM in India Indian authorities are pressing RIM for monitoring of BlackBerry communications. (Getty Images)
By  Mark Sutton Published  December 5, 2010

Indian authorities and Research In Motion have still not reached agreement over monitoring of BlackBerry services in the country.

The Minister of State for Communications, Sachin Pilot, said in a statement on Friday that authorities still do not have access to the BlackBerry Messenger service.

"Voice, SMS and individual email communications can be intercepted and monitored by security agencies in readable format. However, security agencies are not able to intercept and monitor the communications" made through BlackBerry's corporate e-mail and messenger chatting services, Pilot said.

India has threatened to ban BlackBerry services over concerns that encrypted communications could be used by terrorist organizations. The UAE withdrew a similar ban threat in October, although no announcement was made over whether BlackBerry communications in the Emirates are monitored.

The Indian government said it is still "engaged with Research in Motion to find a solution" and that it is testing various solutions.

RIM said in a statement that it is co-operating with the government, but that monitoring of corporate communications would be dependent on the government approaching the enterprise concerned, rather than RIM giving access to corporate communications.

"RIM confirms that it is fully cooperating with the government of India and is enabling carriers in India to be able to provide the same degree of lawful access to consumer data services, including BlackBerry Messenger, that occurs with respect to other consumer products and services offered by other companies including RIM's competitors," RIM stated.

"The (Indian) government has acknowledged that any potential policy or approach that requires lawful access to strongly encrypted enterprise data sent to or from corporate and government organizations ... would need to occur through the enterprise customers themselves since RIM has no ability to provide the customers' encryption keys," RIM said.

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