The government on Thursday said the makers of BlackBerry — Research in Motion (RIM) — has given an assurance to it on soon addressing its security concerns and hoped that the Canadian service provider and security agencies would be on the “same page”.
“BlackBerry has assured the Ministry of Home Affairs that the issue of monitoring of the BlackBerry will be sorted out soon...I am sure we will soon be on the same page and our concerns will be addressed,” Special Secretary (Internal Security), MHA, Utthan Kumar Bansal told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.
The government had warned the popular smartphone company that if it does not allow it to monitor e-mails and SMSes to address security concerns, it will have to close down operations in the country, spelling trouble for over a million BlackBerry users in India.
The government has said that RIM will have to address its security-related issues by allowing monitoring facility in India.
Mr. Bansal said the Department of Telecommunication was the nodal authority which makes the policy and it was working to address the issue raised by the MHA. The MHA has asked the DoT to tell the company in no uncertain terms that its e-mails and other data services must comply with formats that can be monitored by security and intelligence agencies.
There are reports that China has got a server in that country and the MHA asked the DoT to check whether it is true.
Government also wants a BlackBerry server in India but the company has been resisting the move. Once the server is in India, it will be easier to track the messages.
The MHA maintains that RIM has been addressing security concerns of several other countries, including the United States, where it operates and, therefore, there is no justification to not comply with the same in India.
The smartphone’s server is based in Canada where the encryption level is very high and extremely difficult to crack. And any message going through a Canada server is encrypted and, therefore, cannot be accessed by intelligence agencies in India.
Senior officials of key security agencies at a recent meeting argued that the continuation of BlackBerry services in the present format poses danger to the country.