Bloomberg News

India Says RIM Assures Blackberry Messenger Monitoring

October 29, 2010

Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM:US) has assured India’s government it will provide Blackberry Messenger interception tools by Jan. 31, the nation’s press office said.

RIM has set up an “interim arrangement” allowing the government to monitor instant messenger communication on its BlackBerrry handsets, according to a statement posted on the website of the government’s Press Information Bureau today. Because the company has assured a “final solution,” BlackBerry Messenger service “will continue to be available,” according to the statement.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company averted a ban in the world’s second-largest mobile-phone market by giving a temporary solution on Aug. 30 to allow monitoring of BlackBerry data. India, concerned that terrorists may take advantage of the encryption in smartphones, has stepped up its scrutiny over the telecommunications industry since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that left 166 dead.

India’s government gave the company a two-month reprieve at the end of August to come up with a solution to allow security agencies to monitor BlackBerry enterprise e-mail and messenger services. The government extended that by another two months to Dec. 31, an official said Oct. 12 on condition of anonymity.

“While RIM cannot disclose the details of confidential regulatory discussions that occur with any government, RIM can confirm that its discussions with the Indian government continue to be constructive and RIM remains optimistic about reaching a positive and final resolution,” the company said in an e-mailed statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ketaki Gokhale in Mumbai at kgokhale@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net.


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