RIM reportedly believes it could take up to two more years to develop an enterprise email monitoring solution that satisfies the Indian government, and wants assurances its services won't be banned.
The BlackBerry maker said it may take 18-24 months to develop a system that fully complies with India's demands, according to the minutes of a meeting between RIM and government officials viewed by the Economic Times.
RIM repeated its long-held position that it lacks the ability to decrypt emails sent using the service, as it does not receive a copy of the encryption key.
Any surveillance system may therefore need to be installed at the enterprise level, which would take time to implement.
RIM said it should be ready to provide an automated version of an existing manual solution for monitoring BlackBerry Messenger services by January 31, but would then need to conduct testing.
But the government is pressing RIM to have the service ready and tested before the deadline.
Security officials also pressed RIM to improve its internet interception system, because it currently cannot access sent images such as jpeg files.
The Indian government first threatened to ban BlackBerry services in August, giving RIM until the end of that month to come up with a solution.
After RIM offered a partial fix, and explained the problems monitoring the remaining services, the deadline was pushed back – first until October 31, then December 31, then January 31.
India's home ministry in December confirmed it was still consulting with RIM on the issue.
Last month, the government also revealed it was considering introducing new laws that would make it mandatory for operators to allow lawful interception of voice, emails, internet data and VoIP communications.