Research in Motion (RIM) officials on Tuesday started talks with Indian security agencies on enabling tools and mechanisms to give them access to BlackBerry corporate email and messenger services.
The discussions are aimed at putting off a ban on BlackBerry services that would come into force if RIM does not come up with technical solutions to enable “lawful interception”.
“It (discussions) will continue this week, probably next week too. Discussions are on both the services,” an official said.
Two services — BlackBerry Messenger and BlackBerry Enterprise Server — are at the centre of a tug-of-war between RIM and the government.
RIM has come up with a tool that would enable the messenger text to be accessed in readable format and is in the process of coming up with a technical solution for the corporate email system.
Government sources said some officials in telecom companies had dropped hints that the government’s software experts break the encryption code and access BlackBerry data transmitted through its networks.
“This is what some developed countries have done,” the source said, adding this alternative was not being explored as RIM was legally obliged to provide access.
Also, the security agencies would not be able to produce the evidence collected in this manner before courts to aid prosecution.
During initial talks with the government, RIM officials are understood to have said there were ways to monitor the corporate email services without breaking into the encrypted BlackBerry enterprise server.
Even if the technical solutions do not satisfy the security agencies, government officials said Blackberry services including voice calls, short-messaging services and messenger services did not face a risk.