BlackBerry gets 60-day extension

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, or RIM got a 60-day reprieve from the government to continue services in the country, but the Canadian firm will have to ultimately set up a local server to have its full services continue beyond November. For now, the government has accepted RIM’s solution for ‘lawful access by law enforcement agencies’ of encrypted BlackBerry data. The Canadian smartphone maker will implement ‘full and partial solutions’ for different applications, including messenger services and corporate emails, which the security agencies will test over the next 60 days. At the same time, the telecom department, or DoT, has been asked to study the feasibility of providing such services only through a server located in India. The extension of the deadline will enable one million BlackBerry users in India to continue using their corporate email and instant messaging services after Tuesday. Analysts said RIM gave in to demands by security agencies here, as India is one of the fastestgrowing markets for the company.
Incidentally, the government, to rule out any allegation of discrimination against BlackBerry, has decided to also take other service providers such as Google, Skype, MSN Hotmail or VPN — to task for inadequate access to data traffic routed through India. An official said notices would be issued from Tuesday to all those whose services cannot be monitored by the Indian security agencies, and they would be asked to set up servers here to enable lawful interception.

In a related development, following the Intelligence Bureau’s move to ask DoT to stop Nokia’s popular messaging services in India until they can be monitored, handset maker Nokia, which offers push-mail services on Monday said it would set up a server in India by November to help the government monitor this facility.

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