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Updated: December 31, 2010 02:33 IST

BlackBerry denies India e-mail access deal

Josh Halliday
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Refuting some media reports that it will allow the Indian government access to all messages and emails sent by its 400,000 BlackBerry customers in the country, the Research In Motion has said that only an account holder has the necessary key to decrypt the messages. File photo
AP
Refuting some media reports that it will allow the Indian government access to all messages and emails sent by its 400,000 BlackBerry customers in the country, the Research In Motion has said that only an account holder has the necessary key to decrypt the messages. File photo

BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) has hit back at reports, which said that it was ready to allow the Indian authorities have access to customers' highly-secure corporate e-mails.

The Canadian company slammed as “false and technologically infeasible” a report in an Indian newspaper, which said that RIM would allow the Indian government have access to all messages and e-mails sent by its 400,000 BlackBerry customers in the country. An internal Home Ministry memo, apparently seen by the paper, suggested that RIM would automatically make readable all BlackBerry communications, including encrypted enterprise e-mails.

RIM said only an account holder had the necessary key to decrypt the messages. But it confirmed that security authorities and mobile operators would be granted “lawful access” to the popular BlackBerry Messenger chats.

The company is battling to resolve a three-year dispute in the region, with countries including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and India demanding access to BlackBerry communications, citing threats to national security. RIM has until January to placate India's fears or risk being pushed out of the country.

The region's mobile security fears were heightened by reports that the Mumbai terrorists used secure BlackBerrys to plot their attacks.

India is an important market for RIM. Informa Telecoms & Media forecast that more than 600,000 BlackBerrys will have been sold there this year, and that India's smartphone market will grow rapidly from 12 million to 49 million by the end of 2015. Copyright: Guardian News & Media 2010

Why should the government or police be allowed to snoop on personal/corporate communications? Considering many of us use email/blackerry messenger for more than casual conversation, and the reputation for corruption among some police personnal,(I am ok if you attribute that to their ridiculously low salaries) this should be more of a security concern than some measly terror suspect who are a minority. This is akin to what an American president said when dropping the nuke on Japan, 'for greater good'- really? There are questions that must be asked.

from:  Winston
Posted on: Dec 31, 2010 at 08:12 IST
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