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India seen rejecting RIM's BlackBerry message spying option

updated 08:05 am EDT, Fri October 1, 2010

RIM told BlackBerry intercept not enough for India

India has backtracked on its belief that it has a BlackBerry spying solution, an internal memo obtained today may have revealed. A September 28 note from the country's Department of Telecommunications claims that it hasn't been able to monitor either chat from BlackBerry Messenger or e-mail from BlackBerry Enterprise Servers. The details obtained by India's Economic Times don't say whether the government plans to reverse its public stance and demand another step.

The smartphone creator can't currently give the solution the government wants, which would involve direct access to the encryption keys for every server and each message. Only the senders and recipients usually have the keys, preventing even RIM from intercepting data. Co-chief Jim Balsillie has suggested instead that India get registries of companies that gets the encryption keys associated with messages from each individual BES server.

RIM may have to scramble for a solution as it has only until October 31 to find a solution to avert a ban and is already operating on a 60-day extension. A forced exit could be costly as the company has over one million BlackBerry phones in India. Only a small percentage are attached to corporate e-mail and would be directly affected, but it's not known if India would allow personal use if it had to ban BES use.

by MacNN Staff



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