RIM gets breather, avoids BlackBerry ban in India

Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) averted a potential ban of its BlackBerry services in India after it agreed to give security agencies there greater access to services. The Indian government said that it will review the situation in 60 days after the country's Department of Telecommunications studies whether corporate email and instant messaging services can be routed through a server in India.

The deal with the government quiets a furor that had been growing in India over a potential ban, which RIM faced if it did not provide the government with monitoring tools. RIM has around 1 million Blackberry users in India, which represent around 2 percent of the company's 46 million global users.

India's Ministry of Home Affairs, which is in charge of security, said in a statement that RIM had made "certain proposals for lawful access by law enforcement agencies and these would be operationalized immediately. The feasibility of the solutions offered would be assessed thereafter."

It's unclear what measures RIM agreed to with the Indian government. India and governments of other countries--including the United Arab Emirates--have said that Blackberry's encrypted services present a potential threat to national security. RIM has countered that its services protect users' security, and that messages sent on its BlackBerry devices are encrypted and can only be seen by corporate client servers. However, the company has previously offered to give governments easier access to the servers.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this NYT article

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