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BlackBerry won’t give India access to email

It is official. BlackBerry will not allow Indian security agencies to access emails of its enterprise services or corporate subscribers. It will only provide phone numbers and location of servers from which enterprise emails are sent and received. The government has also agreed to it. Manoj Gairola reports.

gadgets Updated: Jul 19, 2013 01:13 IST
Manoj Gairola

It is official. BlackBerry will not allow Indian security agencies to access emails of its enterprise services or corporate subscribers. It will only provide phone numbers and location of servers from which enterprise emails are sent and received. The government has also agreed to it.

BlackBerry’s email and other data services are provided through operators. The company has agreed to offer interception solutions that allow decryption of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) services, BlackBerry pin-to-pin services and BlackBerry Internet Services (BIS).

However for BlackBerry Enterprise Services (BES), the company will provide “meta data/call-related information and enterprise server identity for BES,” according to a note by the Department of Telecommunications.

“BlackBerry has delivered a solution that enables India’s wireless carriers to address their lawful access requirements for our consumer messaging services, which include BBM and BIS email,” a BlackBerry spokesperson said.

“The lawful access capability now available to BlackBerry’s carrier partners meets the standard required by the Indian government for all consumer messaging services offered in the Indian marketplace. We also wish to underscore, once again, that this enablement of lawful access does not extend to BlackBerry Enterprise Server,” the spokesperson added.

The department is currently examining steps taken by all operators to ensure that security systems provided by BlackBerry are in place.

The issue of security between the company and agencies dates back to more than five years.