BlackBerry services in the country are in violation of the Internet Service Providers (ISP) guidelines regarding encryption of data. According to the guidelines, a licencee has to seek prior permission of the government if the level of encryption is higher than 40-bit key length (See box).
“In case of BlackBerry, the level of encryption is much higher and very complex. The government has not given permission to any operator to start services without setting up server,” a senior official at the Department of Telecommunications told HT.
“There are guidelines under which this service could not have been provided,” former VSNL CMD B.K. Syngal said. “It is strange that the government continued to turn a blind eye for the last few years.”
Nine operators provide BlackBerry services, including state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd.
An RIM delegation, led by its vice-president Robert E. Crowe, met Home Secretary G.K. Pillai on Friday to discuss issue. Spokespersons of Research in Motion (RIM), the company that runs BlackBerry service, Vodafone, Bharti Airtel and Idea declined comment.