RIM to assist Indian government in surveillance

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RIM is apparently struggling in its efforts to provide assistance to the Indian government for monitoring the communications between suspected terrorists. In order to do so the company will have to strike a fine balance between the privacy of its users and its compliance with the regulations of the government. It has been reported that the Canada based smartphone manufacturer is setting up a facility located in Mumbai for helping the government of the country to keep tabs over the individuals who are suspected of foul play.

The launch of the facility comes after the government threatened the company that it will be banned from the region if it doesn’t comply with its demands for wiretapping. RIM, on its part, is trying as hard as possible to retain control over the developing situation in refusing to give the government access to the code keys for its BlackBerry Messenger services. Instead of this, the company has suggested that it will decrypt some select messages itself after a legal request is submitted by the government.

The government has made it quite apparent that it doesn’t prefer to go through these channels involving RIM in the decoding process; however as of yet this appears to be the only possible agreement which will ensure that some measures of personal privacy and the monitoring by the government are both maintained at some levels. Milind Deora, the Indian Minister of State for Telecommunications, has stated that the officials are still in the process of working out a middle ground which will maintain the legality of RIM’s services in the country while at the same time satisfying the country’s desire to access the communications on the platform.

The trouble between the Indian authorities and RIM began last winter when the country asked the company to provide it with its encrypted codes. After the company refused, it was almost ousted from the country this August; however it managed to salvage the situation by offering to assist the authorities with the legal retrieval of information.

The Canadian BlackBerry maker was aware of the authenticity of the threat as the Indian government had also earlier similarly blocked Nokia’s email messaging services on similar grounds. As it wasn’t possible for the company to abandon one of its fastest growing and lucrative markets, it subsequently reached an agreement with the officials.

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