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In an effort to better its Blackberry services RIM has set up a new monitoring facility in Mumbai. The Canadian manufacturer, along with the Indian government will now conduct surveillance checks.
Sources say that RIM opened the centre this year in order to deal with the requests from the Indian Intelligence agencies. Recently, the Indian government and RIM have been involved in a battle over privacy, as the BlackBerry services require tighter restrictions according to administrative officials. The city of New Delhi, in particular, fears that extremists could organise terror attacks through instant messaging and emails.
The government of India has issued a series of deadlines to RIM. It boils down to “comply, or else” for BlackBerry. It now seems that RIM has decided to comply, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that the Canadian firm has allowed BlackBerry internet surveillance. RIM said that it would only comply once the intercept requests could be justified.
At the beginning of the year, Minister of India P. Chidambaram stated that RIM had already provided access to its services, and it would not be long before the government would gain access to intercept emails.
RIM faces an issue with corporate emails. It cannot hand out access as the security keys reside under the care of private companies.
Milind Deora, India’s telecoms minister explained that “the government still wants to find some middle ground with RIM”.
RIM’s statement confirmed the reports. “India is applying its security policy in a consistent manner to all handset makers and service providers in India, which means that RIM should not be singled out any more than any other provider”.
BlackBerry handsets are not the only piece of technology which has been placed under scrutiny. India has also asked both Skype and Google if it can set up local servers so that Indian law officials can screen incoming and outgoing traffic.