BlackBerry solution needs to pass through trials

NEW DELHI Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:56am IST

A salesman is seen behind the box of a blackberry handset at a shop in Kochi August 18, 2010. REUTERS/Sivaram V.

A salesman is seen behind the box of a blackberry handset at a shop in Kochi August 18, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Sivaram V.

Related Topics

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Any solution provided by Research in Motion RIM.TO RIMM.O, makers of BlackBerry smartphones, must pass through field trials to satisfy India's security concerns, a senior government source said on Friday.

RIM on Thursday offered to lead an industry forum to look at India's need to have "lawful access" to its encrypted mail and messenger in an effort to stave off the blocking of the popular service in the world's fastest growing telecoms market.

Executives of the Canadian firm will meet government officials for a second day on Friday in last-ditch negotiations aimed at finding a solution to India's desire to access the encrypted data that security agencies fear could be misused to launch attacks or create political instability.

RIM faces an Aug. 31 deadline to give authorities the means to track and read BlackBerry Enterprise email. The government has said it will take a final decision on Monday.

(For a slideshow: Evolution of the BlackBerry, click here)

Indian officials say nothing short of a solution which will give them access to email in a readable format will satisfy them.

"We will only accept a solution which will enable us lawful interception of BlackBerry services in the interest of national security," the source told Reuters.

"The solution, if they come up with it, will have to go through field trials and satisfy our technical experts."

RIM said it was willing to lead an industry forum focused on supporting the lawful access needs of law enforcement agencies while preserving the information and security needs of corporations.

"We have seen the statement, but the government's position does not change," the source said. "We are hopeful they will come up with some solution."

A shutdown would affect about 1 million users in India out of a total 41 million BlackBerry users worldwide, allowing them to use the devices only for calls and Internet browsing.

RIM uses powerful codes to scramble, or encrypt, email messages as they travel between a BlackBerry device and a computer known as a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) that is designed to secure those emails.

RIM has said BlackBerry security is based on a system where the customers create their own key and the company neither has a master key nor any "back door" to allow RIM or any third party to gain access to crucial corporate data.

India is one of a number of countries putting pressure on RIM, which has built the reputation of the BlackBerry, popular with business professionals and politicians, around confidentiality.

(Editing by Sugita Katyal)

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

SpiceJet Bail-Out

SpiceJet Bail-Out

Co-founder of SpiceJet seeks time to finalise rescue  Full Article 

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity

Internet outage seen in N. Korea amid U.S. hacking dispute.  Full Article 

Tunisia Vote

Tunisia Vote

Veteran Essebsi wins Tunisia's first free presidential vote.  Full Article 

Singer Dies

Singer Dies

Joe Cocker, raspy-voiced British singer, dies at 70.  Full Article 

Cricket Update

Cricket Update

Shane Watson forced to leave Australia training by bouncer blow.  Full Article 

Jaycee Charged

Jaycee Charged

China charges Jackie Chan's son over drug offence.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage