updated 02:55 pm EDT, Tue September 21, 2010
India gets IM access from RIM, not yet e-mail
An update today in the ongoing security debacle between RIM and India's government has local officials continuing to seek access to corporate e-mails after getting access to the IMs sent from BlackBerry devices. The instant messages do not operate on RIM's ultra-secure network and RIM was able to grant access starting on September 1. High-ranking RIM executives and engineers have reportedly met with India's security officials in recent days in an attempt to reach a compromise, though the nature of the meetings hasn't been discussed.
Data sent from non-RIM devices is relatively easy to intercept as it only requires the approval of the carrier, while RIM has said BlackBerry carriers have no access to encrypted data. BlackBerry e-mail creates and shows encryption keys only for the sender and the recipient, making it at least theoretically impossible for even RIM to know how a message is encrypted and have a chance at decoding the contents.
India is urging RIM and Internet services that include Google and Skype to build local servers so their security agencies can monitor all data traffic. The country has been adamant about the risks ever since the Mumbai terrorist attacks were known to have been coordinated by phone, although they used plain-text SMS messages and wouldn't have been affected by India's monitoring plans.