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  • BlackBerry falls in line, manual access to BBM by 1st Sep

    Published on August 17, 2010

    The BlackBerry mobile phone maker Research In Motion (RIM) has agreed to provide security agencies partial access to its messenger services by 1st September and would complete the project by the end of the year.

    The move by the RIM comes barely within five days after the government conveyed in no uncertain terms to RIM asking them to come up with a technical solution to the issue of interception of its services by 31st August or shut down its shop.

    However, the Canada-based firm said some more discussions were required for giving access to BlackBerry Entreprise Services (BES).

    RIM, which has a subscriber base of nearly one million in India, made this offer to the government in order to end the logjam by agreeing to blink on the issue of providing access to its special services.

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

    On BES, the smart-phone makers have conveyed to the government that certain technical discussions were required to be undertaken before finding a solution to this issue also.

    Canadian smartphone maker had proposed certain ways to address India’s security concerns over BlackBerry Enterprise Services (BES) and BlackBerry Messenger Services (BBM) for which it is seeking access in the country.

    In a letter to Department of Telecom (DoT) Secretary P J Thomas, Home Secretary G K Pillai had asked him to convey to the operators and RIM that a technical solution to make available lawful interception of BES and BBM must be found by the deadline.

    BlackBerry had attempted earlier to break the logjam over its services in India by offering “metadata” and relevant information to security agencies which would enable them to lawfully intercept communication on such phones but it failed to enthuse the authorities.

    RIM representatives explained that BlackBerry mobile device sends encrypted emails, which is sent to BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) located with the service provider.

    BES decrypts messages and sends it to the email server of the service provider where it remains stored in decrypted form.


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