BlackBerry maker lines up solutions
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- Published 7.04.08
New Delhi, April 6: Research in Motion (RIM) — the makers of BlackBerry — may provide translation or encryption codes to the government to monitor e-mails among BlackBerry users.
Indian intelligence agencies can monitor e-mails, voice and SMS data sent from a BlackBerry to any other mobile phone or to an Internet mailing address but cannot decipher e-mails between two BlackBerrys. A translation code is required to read the messages.
Canada-based RIM will meet the officials of the home ministry, the department of telecommunications (DoT) and intelligence agencies on April 9 to provide a solution that will allow security agencies to supervise the service without compromising data security.
“BlackBerry devices provide data monitoring for the governments of all countries where they operate by setting up servers or providing encryption codes. The governments will always have ways and means to access and monitor any type of information they want to and companies should comply with these demands,” said Colin Orviss, vice-chairman of TM Forum, a global telecom trade association with members from across the world, including Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications.
RIM can also set up a proxy server where e-mails and data from BlackBerry phones in India will be stored for six months and can be monitored. This is what the company has done in China and Singapore, said industry analysts.
The DoT had also demanded that the makers of BlackBerry install a server in India to enable security agencies monitor traffic at the outset without having to break into secure transmission codes. According to industry estimates, a server will cost $500,000.
Telecom service providers Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance — who provide BlackBerry services in India — have supported the DoT’s demand that RIM should set up servers in India for monitoring purposes.
RIM ran into rough weather in India after security agencies said they could not monitor BlackBerry data because of sophisticated encryption codes.