Government on Thursday set a 31st August deadline for BlackBerry maker Research In Motion and telecom operators to address its security concerns failing which some of the mobile phone’s popular services would be shut down.
In a letter to to the Department of Telecom Secretary P J Thomas, Union Home Secretary G K Pillai asked him to convey to the operators and Canada-based RIM that a technical solution to make available lawful interception of BlackBerry Enterprise Services (BES) and BlackBerry Messenger Services (BBM) must be found out by 31st August or its services will be blocked.
There are an estimated one million BlackBerry subscribers in the country.
The letter was sent after a meeting chaired by Pillai in which representatives of security agencies, Telecom Department and top brass of state-owned BSNL and MTNL were present.
Thursday’s discussion was aimed at finalizing the government strategy towards BlackBerry phone which is facing the threat of being blocked in the country if telecom service providers do not address government’s security concerns.
Last week, BlackBerry had made a fresh attempt to break the logjam over its services in India by offering “metadata” and relevant information to security agencies which will enable them to lawfully intercept communication on such phones but it failed to enthuse them.
RIM representatives explained that BlackBerry mobile device sends encrypted emails, which is sent to BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) located with the service provider.
BES decrypts messages and sends it to the email server of the service provider where it remains stored in decrypted form.
Then it is pushed to the BlackBerry device in encrypted.UAE had recently banned Blackberry services.