RIM sets up surveillance facility in Mumbai

The whole BlackBerry versus the Indian government ‘spat’ has been raging on quite strongly for some years now but it seemed like it was all sorted out as things have been a little quiet on that front for some time now. In fact, these two entities, according to the Wall Street Journal, have even put their heads together to come up with a mutually beneficial scenario. The latest news is that BlackBerry smartphone maker, RIM and the Indian government, have set up a facility in Mumbai to assist with the legal surveillance of encrypted BlackBerry communication.

The Indian government has wanted access to these encrypted messages for some time now and more so after the 2008 terror attacks. The reason behind the adamant push to gain access to secure information by the government was to provide for a convenient means to crackdown on suspects being investigated.

RIM set up surveillance shop in Mumbai

RIM set up surveillance shop in Mumbai


India has set a number of deadlines for this access to be provided and has, on many occasions, threatened to cut off BlackBerry services in the country. After much of going back and forth, RIM finally granted the government some access to their services where the government needs to send the name of the suspect they are investigating to RIM (through legal procedures of course) and RIM will provide them the un-encrypted communication for that specific suspect.

While this solution seems to be mutually fair, some might be of the opinion that the government should have access to decoding data on their own negating the need to reveal suspects' names to a third party i.e. RIM. BlackBerry enterprise emails, however, still can't be decoded, but the Indian government isn't as concerned with this as it was before. RIM has mentioned though, that they themselves lack the ability to access this highly secure method of emailing.


India's desire to tap communication isn't only restricted to BlackBerry. Their wishlist also includes Microsoft's recent acquisition, Skype, Facebook and Twitter.

Published Date: Oct 28, 2011 03:15 pm | Updated Date: Oct 28, 2011 03:15 pm