Govt to Reprieve Some BlackBerry Services

India will allow BlackBerry's messenger service to continue beyond an Aug. 31 deadline, but could shut down its secure email service if access is not given to its encrypted data by then, a senior government source said. A technical team from Research In Motion began discussions with India's telecommunications ministry and intelligence agencies on Tuesday, the source said, seeking to address security worries over some of BlackBerry's services. "Discussions have started today.They will continue this week and whole of next week. Discussions are on both the services," said the source on condition of anonymity.

The government expects some sort of technical solution from RIM to emerge during the discussions, he said. When asked if BlackBerry would be allowed to operate after Aug. 31, he said: "BlackBerry services, including phone, SMS and Messenger will run, not sure about enterprise mail." Research In Motion has assured India of manual access to BlackBerry instant messages by Sept. 1, and automated access by year-end. They are yet to get assurances for its more secure corporate email, sources said.

Also on Tuesday, at least three mobile operators confirmed they received letters from the Department of Telecommunications giving them a deadline to put in place monitoring capability for BlackBerry Messenger and secured Enterprise email services. "We have received a letter ... asking us to ensure that legal intervention capability is put in place for BlackBerry services by 31 August 2010," a statement from operator Tata Teleservices said. New Delhi says it will shut down BlackBerry services if RIM does not allow access to its messaging or secured email, threatening its future in the world's fastest-growing telecoms market.

Published Date: Aug 18, 2010 11:47 am | Updated Date: Aug 18, 2010 11:47 am