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All BlackBerry type messenger services under DOT scan

Amid controversy over BlackBerry services interception, the Department of Telecom today said it was looking at various kinds of messenger services and discussing the matter with the ministry of home affairs.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2011 18:15 IST

Amid controversy over BlackBerry services interception, the Department of Telecom on Tuesday said it was looking at various kinds of messenger services and discussing the matter with the ministry of home affairs.

"We are in dialogue with the home ministry separately, so it will be between the two departments to do whatever is necessary as far as the interception is concerned," Telecom Secretary R Chandrasekhar told reporters in New Delhi.

RIM, which offers the BlackBerry services through eight operators, has been saying that it cannot provide access to the popular Blackberry Enterprise Solution (BES) as it does not possess any key and the security architecture is the same around the world.

"...a separate set of discussions are going on not just on the Blackberry but on various kinds of messengers services, various kinds of communications with reference to amenability to interception and that is being addressed and we will take a view on whole class," Chandrasekhar added.

Asked whether the government has fixed March 31 as a new deadline for RIM to offer interception solution, he said the DoT is yet to send any communication to the operators. "What we are doing is to look at what exactly is the stipulation, which needs to be complied with...it is entirely based on our examination of the technicality of the issues involved."

The home ministry has asked the DoT to ensure that all telecom operators submit their plans by the end of this month on when they can provide access to all services, including BES, whenever there is a necessity for the security agencies.

Indian security agencies have been demanding access to all BlackBerry services as part of efforts to fight militancy and security threats over the Internet and through telephone communications.

Eight operators including Bharti, Vodafone, Idea, RCom, Tatas and also two state-owned firms -- BSNL and MTNL -- are offering BlackBerry services across the country and it has emerged a popular service among corporates for its enterprise mail service.