RIM Gets Reprieve in India; Plan May Involve Local Server
Research in Motion narrowly avoided a ban on its BlackBerry service in the United Arab Emirates last week after reaching some sort of accord with the government there. But it continues to face one in India, which has demanded similar access to its encrypted email and instant messaging data.
The deadline for compliance had been Oct. 31, but India’s Home Ministry has extended it to give RIM (RIMM) a bit more time to provide a solution that would allow it to “lawfully” intercept encrypted corporate information. The new deadline: January 31. Evidently, the two parties have settled on a solution; RIM just needs more time to implement it–at least that’s what these minutes from a recent Home Ministry meeting suggest.
“RIM would be asked to adhere to the timeline of January 2011 to give the final solution wherein lawful access for BlackBerry messenger will not involve the overseas data path. Intelligence Bureau (IB) and National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), which had attended the discussions, found that the solutions offered by RIM (for BlackBerry messenger) are prime-facie agreeable. The timelines of January 2011 were also agreeable.”
That bit about lawful access not involving an overseas data path seems to suggest that RIM has, at the very least, agreed to host a server in India. What it’s planning to do beyond that remains to be seen. Company execs continue to insist that there’s no technical solution to allow lawful access to its BlackBerry Enterprise Service. This is the second time RIM has won a reprieve from the Indian government. It seems doubtful there will be a third.