Finnish minister wades into India debate

Finland's communications minister has thrown her weight behind Nokia Siemens in a dispute over India's controversial escrow rules for foreign telecom vendors.
 
In a visit to New Delhi, Suvi Linden slammed the Indian government's proposal to force vendors to share their source codes with security agencies, calling it “impossible”, the Deccan Chronicle reported.
 
Linden said the government's desire to ensure the security of India’s telecom networks was understandable, but warned against measures that made it too difficult for international vendors to operate in the market.
 
NSN's Indian unit has lost business over the last six months as a result of the proposed rules, and will be financially affected, she added.
 
In a statement to Bloomberg on Friday, NSN repeated its position that any demand to share its source codes and design documents is “unacceptable.”
 
The company said it was in talks with the government to develop an alternative proposal in line with international best practice.
 
Linden said any changes to the current rules would need to be drastic in order to resolve the dispute.
 
India introduced the tough new security regulations in late July, requiring foreign vendors to make their source codes available in escrow to be accessed by security agencies if a breach occurs.
 
The government is thought to have lifted an informal ban on Chinese gear in favor of the new regime.
 
After much opposition from western vendors – particularly Ericsson and NSN – the government agreed to review the rules and consider an alternative based on international standards.

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