Friday, August 13, 2010

Indian government seeks access to RIM’s encrypted emails and instant messages

After Saudi Arabia, India joined the list countries that are forcing BlackBerry maker, Research In Motion (RIM) to provide access to their encrypted e-mail messages and instant messages for the sake of national security. On August 12, 2010, Indian government issued a notice giving out a 19-day deadline to RIM to fix security issues. After August 31, 2010, the government will review the situations.

News reports said that the Indian government will take similar measures against other Internet-based messaging services such as Google and Skype. On July 12, 2010, a meeting was held between telecommunication ministry security officials and operator associations. In the meeting, the officials talked about intercepting and monitoring encrypted messages for they pose a major threat to the security of the country.

In the meeting, the officials discussed about finding necessary solutions for various types of services but first they would take up the issue of BlackBerry.

Indian government is threatening to ban BlackBerry services if the company does not provide access to their encrypted communication. The government is afraid these types of services could be used by terrorists groups to mount attacks.

Along with India, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Lebanon and The United Arab Emirates also wants access to RIM’s encrypted messages. Recently, RIM agreed to provide the government of Saudi Arabia access to its messages. Earlier, RIM proposed tracking emails without sharing encryption details but the government officials did not agree.

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