After BlackBerry smartphone, the Indian law enforcement agencies might target Internet-based messaging services, offered by Internet giants like Google and Skype, which are inaccessible to them or allow communication between users in encrypted format.

In a meeting held a few weeks ago, the Department of Telecommunications [DoT] and Union Home Ministry warned various associations of mobile operators and Internet service providers (ISPs) not to allow any communication in any encrypted form, as it may be used by anti-national elements.

Now ISPs providing messaging services fear that, after BlackBerry, it might their turn to face the heat. Such services offered by companies like Google and Skype might have to either follow government guidelines or face ban.

Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) president Rajesh Chharia told The Hindu. DoT has sought their views to strengthen cyberspace security and asked them to use available techniques to intercept and monitor encrypted communications. “Though ISPs were not given any deadline, authorities made it clear that anything that is found objectionable to security agencies might face ban,” he added.

“Keeping in mind how terrorists are using these modern day communication tools to carry out attacks, it is high time that we must cooperate with security agencies. ISPAI has conveyed to its members to cooperate with the government on this issue,” Mr. Chharia added.

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