India Pushing RIM for More Monitoring Access
After Research in Motion (RIM) has eased concerns voiced by the Indian government over national security threats by allowing government access to certain BlackBerry communications services, a source inside the government is saying that the government wants to push forward to get access to monitor additional BlackBerry services, such as corporate email. If RIM obliges to India’s requests, the company may stand to gain the support of the Indian market–and also select Middle Eastern countries that have voiced similar concerns as India–but may be on a slippery slope and lose the credibility of a secure email experience that many BlackBerry users have come to expect and rely upon.
The sources told Reuters that “Discussions are under way so that we get access to the other service, which is corporate e-mail, so that we can read it in readable format.” According to Research in Motion, data that originates from a non-BlackBerry device to a BlackBerry device may be easier to intercept and monitor, requiring only access permission given by the carrier, but a BlackBerry-to-BlackBerry message is harder to intercept, saying that carriers do not have access to that data as it is encrypted.
RIM had begun to break down its security walls in light of hardball tactics by India and some governments over the issue of national security. According to the government, the BlackBerry maker has granted India’s Interior Ministry monitoring access to select communications that began on August 30th. However, that action only delayed the potential ban of Blackberry devices for 60 days, at which point a re-evaluation would be needed. For its part, RIM has never publicly acknowledged opening up its doors to India. Similarly, Saudi Arabia had inked a deal with RIM fearful over pornography, that gave the government monitoring access to the BlackBerry Messenger service. Also, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have given Research in Motion until October 11th to address security concerns and the BlackBerry platform.