For lawful interception facility of its services

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked all mobile operators to upgrade their technical capabilities for intercepting the services of BlackBerry.

The DoT order follows a 60-day deadline given by the Home Ministry to the Canada-based Research in Motion (RIM), makers of BlackBerry, on August 30 to provide access to its services to the law enforcement agencies.

“Please upgrade your technical capability for lawful interception facility of the BlackBerry services, if not already upgraded,” the DoT said in a letter to all Unified Access Service Licence (UASL) holders.

The operators were asked to submit a compliance report that their networks have been technically upgraded for interception of all BlackBerry services by the law enforcement agencies by September 22.

The DoT also plans to hold technical sessions for the mobile operators to help them monitor the BlackBerry services. After many deliberations and pressure from the Home Ministry, RIM agreed to set up a server in India for the monitoring of its two services — messenger and enterprise email — by the law enforcement agencies.

Earlier, the Ministry set August 31as the deadline for RIM to provide a entire solution to intercept its heavily encrypted data or shut down its services in India.

However, at a meeting chaired by Home Secretary G. K. Pillai on August 30, it was decided that the DoT would study the feasibility of all such services being provided through the server located only in India. The Ministry also said it would review security issues related to BlackBerry in 60 days, by which time the DoT is expected to submit a report.