Business Today

Blackberry gives in, agrees to monitoring of its services

BlackBerry mobile phone maker Research In Motion(RIM) on Monday escaped a ban of its popular core services for at least two months after it offered to give security agencies access to them with immediate effect.

twitter-logo PTI   New Delhi     Last Updated: September 29, 2010  | 17:56 IST

BlackBerry mobile phone maker Research In Motion(RIM) on Monday escaped a ban of its popular core services for at least two months after it offered to give security agencies access to them with immediate effect.

Facing Tuesday's shutdown deadline for the encrypted BlackBerry Enterprise Services (BES) and BlackBerry Messenger Services (BMs), the Canadian phonemaker RIM made certain proposals for lawful access to these popular services by the country's law enforcement agencies, giving some relief to the country's one million subscribers.

RIM's response came on a day when its rival Nokia Corp said it will install a server in the country in November to facilitate government monitoring of its push email services.

On Tuesday, the Canadian government said a ban will not serve any purpose.

RIM, which was so far holding out, made the offer to the government to end the logjam on allowing security agencies to monitor the encrypted data.

The offer was discussed at a meeting convened by Home Secretary G K Pillai. Another meeting with RIM has been convened tomorrow.

The government while giving two months to RIM to execute its proposals said it will also ask others like search engine Google and internet phoen call provider Skype to meet the guidelines to the satisfaction of security agencies.

The Home Ministry has made it clear that Blackberry has to shut down its operations in the country from September one if it failed to provide access to monitoring of its messenger services. Earlier, RIM insisted that it does not have the provision to grant access for such monitoring,

Ministry officials said that RIM has to set up a server in India if they want to continue its services in India and they have to provide full access to all communications within India.

A Home Ministry statement said Government would review the situation in 60 days after the Department of Telecommunications studies the feasibility of routing BlackBerry services through a server in India and submit its report.

"RIM has made certain proposals for lawful access by law enforcement agencies and this would be operationalised immediately. The feasibility of the solutions offered would be assessed thereafter," the statement said.

The Ministry has made it clear that any communication through the telecom networks should be accessible to the law enforcement agencies and all telecom service providers including third-parties have to comply with this, it said.

The statement said the government has been having discussions with RIM over the last few weeks of the issue of lawful access by the law enforcement agencies to the communication passing through RIM systems.

It was also decided that the DoT would study the feasibility of all such services being provided through a server located only in India.

Initially, BlackBerry had agreed to provide manual details to law enforcement agencies, saying it would be made available by the year-end.


Security agencies citing concerns said they were unable to intercept and monitor BlackBerry services because of complex encrypted communication and non-availability of BlackBerry servers in India.

Youtube
  • Print

  • COMMENT
BT-Story-Page-B.gif
A    A   A
close