RIM blasts India ban

RIM has hit back at plans to ban security encryption in India, claiming the move would severely damage the country’s business prospects.
The firm has proposed setting up an industry forum to decide what voice and data communications should be open to scrutiny by India’s security forces, and to decide on processes to ensure encryption considered essential to corporate users is not misused.
It aims to balance the needs of Indian authorities to scrutinize communications to help combat terrorism with corporate user’s need for secure voice and data systems.
Any outright ban on security encryption “would severely limit the effectiveness and productivity of India’s corporations,” RIM said in a statement.
“Strong encryption has become a mandatory requirement for all enterprise-class wireless e-mail services today and is also a fundamental commercial requirement for any country to attract and maintain international business,” the firm noted.
The vendor hopes to draw a line under its battle with Indian authorities over its BlackBerry voice and messaging services, which the country has threatened to ban if RIM doesn’t provide the technology needed to access encrypted data used by both services by August 31.
India’s junior communications minister Sachin Pilot today said the government remains hopeful of resolving the issue before the deadline, and that it was working hard to prevent the services being shut down, WSJ.com reported.
The forum would bring India in-line with global efforts to develop policies to address the wireless security issue, RIM stated.
However, it denied offering some governments access to the disputed data – possibly a reference to a deal struck with Saudi Arabia -, stating that it “maintains a consistent global standard for lawful access requirements.”