BlackBerry says Indian security fears answered

NEW DELHI, January 13, 2011 (AFP) – The Canadian maker of BlackBerry said Thursday it had found a way out of an ongoing standoff in India over allowing security agencies access to the smartphone’s encrypted messaging service. However, the solution did not include providing access to corporate e-mail services, Research In Motion (RIM) said in a statement.

India had given RIM until January 31 to come up with a solution that would permit its intelligence agencies to monitor encrypted data — amid concerns in New Delhi that militants may use the services to plan and carry out attacks.

In its statement, RIM said its revised access capability “meets the standard required by the government of India for all consumer messaging services”.

Indian agencies will now be able to monitor the BlackBerry’s messenger and public email services, but not corporate emails, the statement added.

RIM’s representatives have met home and telecommunications ministry officials repeatedly in an effort to end a three-year deadlock over the issue.

Banning the service would create disruption for India’s corporations, which widely use the BlackBerry. The smartphone has 1.1 million users in India, including many non-corporate clients.