India not considering BlackBerry ban

India is not considering banning RIM's BlackBerry services at this point of time, the top official in the telecom ministry, quoted by a Reuters report said.

'There is no question of banning at this point,' telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura told reporters, adding the government was talking to telecom operators Indian government officials, telecommunications service providers, and executives of RIM earlier met to work out a solution to demands from the Indian government that it should have access to, and the ability to intercept, mails sent over RIM's BlackBerry service, according to a report from India paper Business Standard.

RIM has declined to comment on the government's concerns, which have so far delayed the government's award of a license to offer BlackBerry services to Indian mobile services operator Tata Teleservices, an InfoWorld Daily report added.

Other operators, who already hold a license to offer BlackBerry services in India, have been asked to give the government access and the right to intercept emails, under threat of cancellation of their BlackBerry licenses by March 31. These operators include Vodafone Essar, the Indian joint venture of Vodafone Group and Reliance Communications, a large Indian mobile services provider.

RIM did not respond to an e-mail asking if it is prepared to give the Indian government access to its encryption algorithms and to messages on its service.