India demands Google, Skype open up servers
India has expanded its drive to bring foreign-operated data services under state security surveillance by demanding that Google and Skype offer localized servers.
After forcing RIM to offer a technical fix to allow security agencies to read encrypted BlackBerry data, Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said he would write to Skype and Google informing them that they must install the servers to continue operating in the country.
Pillai said all service providers operating in India will have to comply with the rules on state surveillance, WSJ.com said, but added that the onus for ensuring compliance would rest with telecom operators.
KPMG analyst Romal Shetty told the Journal the move shows India is serious about monitoring all telecom-related companies operating in the country.
RIM was granted a 60-day reprieve on a threatened ban on BlackBerry messaging services earlier this week, to give the government time to evaluate a technical fix it developed in just three weeks that allows access to encrypted e-mail and instant messages.
Earlier this week RIM negotiated a 60-day reprieve to a threatened BlackBerry ban in India, by offering a solution that the home ministry said involved setting up a local server in India.
The DoT is currently authoring a report on the feasibility of providing services solely through an Indian server, which is expected to be complete within two months.
Nokia this week said it plans to install an Indian server for its messaging service by November.