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RIM Reaches Interim Agreement with India over Lawful BBM Interception


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The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs announced that an interim arrangement has been reached with Research In Motion (RIM) regarding the lawful interception of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) services and expects a final solution to be in place by January 31.

RIM's problems in India began back in July, when the government gave it fifteen days to come up with a solution that would allow authorities to monitor encrypted communications for its BlackBerry Messenger and enterprise email services.

Following several talks and proposals, the deadline was extended to August 31, then October 31 and recently to January 31. However, it looks like significant progress was made.

"RIM has assured the government of India that they will provide the final solution for the lawful interception of BBM services by January 31, 2011.

"Accordingly, the BBM services will continue to be available," the Indian home ministry said in a statement, according to the Times of India.

The arrangement is currently being tested by telecom operators, that offer BlackBerry data services. They were asked to upgrade their networks to comply with the solution by the end of January.

The Canadian company declined to release any specific details about the proposed solution, but has reasserted its commitment to defend the security of its BlackBerry customers.

"RIM maintains a consistent global standard for lawful access requirements that does not include special deals for specific countries.

"RIM is pleased with the progress we are achieving together with the government of India and we remain optimistic about reaching a positive and final resolution to regulatory matters in India," the company said, according to the Economic Times.

As far as corporate email services go, RIM continues to maintain that it will not make any changes to the security architecture of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) product.

Such servers handle the email encryption and are operated by individual organizations.As a result, RIM serves only as carrier for the data and can't decrypt it.

However, the Indian government expects a solution for this type of BlackBerry communications too. "The issue of enterprise services will also be dealt with in due course of time," said a Ministry of Home Affairs official.


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