Toughening its stand, the government has conveyed to the BlackBerry makers to install a server in India for tracking their messenger and enterprise mail service as the offer to provide data from their Canada-based server could be detrimental to national security.

Officials of BlackBerry maker RIM (Research In Motion) had offered to provide information on a deferred basis after it faced the threat of a shutdown of the core features by August 31 if security agencies cannot gain access to heavily encrypted corporate e-mail sent on a Blackberry handset.

The RIM had provided an option to the security agencies and officials of the Home Ministry that they could hand over details of BlackBerry phones needed to be monitored and the firm would decrypt the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and BlackBerry Enterprise mail Service (BES) of the smart phones in question, sources in the Telecom Ministry said.

The RIM officials were ready to provide the information initially manually and later through a non-human interface using the “cloud computing environment” method under which a separate wall was created in the server and code and pass-code handed over to the overall coordinator, in this case India. However, the proposal was rejected as security agencies said handing over telephone numbers for monitoring would expose the source to an outside company and this could be detrimental to the country's security.

Even the automated system of extracting information from a Canada-based server was not free of danger because the information could be hacked midway, they said.

RIM officials were told in no uncertain terms that they should deploy their interception server in India with the Indian Service Provider having a definitive tracking system.

The Home Ministry told the Telecom Ministry that if the security concerns were not addressed, the service should be stopped immediately.

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