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Unable to intercept Blackberry Messenger Service: Govt

india Updated: Dec 03, 2010 19:38 IST

The Government on Friday said the security agencies are unable to intercept and monitor the communication made through Blackberry Messenger Service and Enterprise Services in readable format.

Government is engaged with Research in Motion (RIM), the provider of Blackberry services, to find out a solution for the interception and monitoring of messenger chat and enterprise email using Blackberry phone, minister of state for IT and communications Sachin Pilot said.

"Voice, SMS and individual email communication can be intercepted and monitored by Security Agencies in readable format.

"However, Security Agencies are not able to intercept and monitor the communication made through Blackberry Messenger and Enterprise Services in readable format," Pilot said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

He said as per RIM communication in case of enterprise e-mail is encrypted from device to device and key is dynamically created by BlackBerry device.

"This is one to one correspondence between the key device and the key at enterprise email server, placed at the premises of enterprise customer.

"They have also stated that they cannot create any third party access in readable format because they do not have the key, which is dynamically generated, the minister said.

RIM has been saying that the security architecture was the same around the world.

Government has given Blackberry time till January 2011 to create lawful interception facilities with all operators offering the service.

In reply to a question on access to calls and data to security agencies, he said as per the terms and conditions of the license, it is mandatory that service provider will facilitate and shall put adequate and effective internal checks.

This is to ensure that unauthorised interception of messages does not take place and extreme secrecy is maintained.

To intercept and monitor its messenger service in readable format, RIM has offered a solution to security agencies, which is currently under test by Minister of Home Affair.

On China's involvement in Indian Telecommunications, Pilot said the lawful interception monitoring system installed by Telecom Service Providers is demonstrated to Security Agencies to their satisfaction.

As per report received from security agencies, telecom service providers are asked to undertake and give full assurance on complete segregation of the lawful interception monitoring system.

Besides, the telecom service providers is directed to provide access only to Indian Engineers for maintenance and upgradation etc under direct supervision of engineers of telecom service providers.

No remote access is allowed to the lawful interception monitoring system, it said.