Govt firm on BlackBerry stand
Insisting that security agencies were only seeking compliance with existing license conditions, the government on Wednesday said the onus to provide access to the security establishment to monitor the information on the smart phones lay on the telecom service providers. HT reports.delhi Updated: Aug 05, 2010 02:04 IST
Insisting that security agencies were only seeking compliance with existing license conditions, the government on Wednesday said the onus to provide access to the security establishment to monitor the information on the smart phones lay on the telecom service providers.
The government's demand to seek the right to monitor encrypted data transmitted through BlackBerry's servers comes in the backdrop of the UAE blocking its services and countries such as Saudi Arabia and Indonesia planning to follow suit.
"If telecom service providers do not enable monitoring, they will have to withdraw the services that cannot be accessed by security agencies," a government official said.
Delhi, however, has not set a fresh deadline for Blackberry to comply.
Government officials have been trying to find a solution with RIM for the last few years but haven't pulled the plug so far.
According to reports, RIM has refused to help security agencies to peep into messages sent by its clients.
"We are not going to compromise that... That is what has made BlackBerry the No 1 solution worldwide," Mike Lazaridis, RIM founder and co-chief executive, told The New York Times.
A PTI report quoted him as saying allowing governments to monitor messages shuttling across the Blackberry network could endanger the company's relationship with its customers.
Lazaridis denied reports the company had granted special concessions to the governments of countries like India and China, which have large numbers of BlackBerry owners.
"That's absolutely ridiculous and patently false," he said.
He said the encryption that was causing alarm among foreign governments was used for many other purposes, including e-commerce transactions, teleconferencing and electronic money transfers.
"If you were to ban strong encryption, you would shut down corporations, business, commerce, banking and the Internet," he said.