RIM’s ongoing negotiations with the government of India regarding lawful interception of BlackBerry data have hit a bit of a roadblock. RIM has already gone on record and said that they can’t access anything on BlackBerry Enterprise Servers, but the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said that they still insist that some kind of surveillance solution is provided. He didn’t go so far as to threaten a BlackBerry ban, likely because of the progress RIM has made so far with BBM.
The problem that India, and other countries like Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E., had with BlackBerry is that all data sent to and from the phones were encrypted at the device side, and on RIM’s servers where everything is compressed and optimized for mobile. Given that scheme, carriers and government authorities couldn’t read the data in plain text, which poses a threat if those planning to get their crime on don’t want to be traced. The details of how RIM solved those concerns for the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia are still something of a mystery, but clearly something similar isn’t enough for India – they want to be able to eavesdrop on businesses, who understandably wouldn’t like the idea of trade secrets being accessible to anyone on the outside.
Yesterday was RIM’s deadline to have all of this noise sorted out, but seeing as that deadline has been pushed back once already, and these problems stretch back several years, I really doubt it will come down to a BlackBerry ban, so long as the two sides keep communicating.
[via Economic Times]