India orders carriers to bypass RIM

RIM has been thrown another curveball in India, after the government instructed carriers to prepare to intercept messages sent on BlackBerry smartphones without the device maker’s help.
The dramatic twist could result in RIM’s e-mail and messaging services being shut down because the operators don’t have the capability to provide intercept services without RIM’s help, the Times of India reports.
Any closure would hit RIM’s pin-to-pin messenger and enterprise services, which both use encrypted data, however it would not cover e-mail and messaging services from Yahoo, Google and MSN, or RIM’s voice and SMS services, the newspaper said.
The latest ultimatum comes less than a week after the government set a deadline of August 31 for RIM to work out a technical solution with carriers that allowed access to the encrypted data.
RIM refuses to comment on reports it has already agreed to offer India’s security services manual access to individual user’s data by September 1, with an automated set-up to follow by the end of the year, the Hindustan Times reported.
A spokesman told the newspaper he couldn’t comment on the reports, which appeared in local press yesterday, and denied any knowledge of the agreement.
India accounts for 2% of RIM’s global market, with around one million BlackBerry's in use, the Times estimates.