Centre extends deadline to BlackBerry makers

Centre extends deadline  to BlackBerry makers

The decision was taken by the Union Home Ministry after a meeting with representatives from Research in Motion (RIM), the Canada-based makers of the smartphone, and the Ministry of Telecommunication.

As of now, voicemail, SMS and BlackBerry Internet Services (BIS) have been made available to the security agencies. But the government wants access to the encrypted data used for these services in a readable format, which involves a system-by-system software upgradation across Legal Intercept and Monitoring (LIM) facilities installed by the operator.

For past many months, technical discussions on the BlackBerry Messenger Service (BMS) and BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) have been going on between the security agencies and RIM. The latter has sought more time as the October 31 deadline given to the company is fast approaching.

“We are satisfied with the solution provided for the lawful interception of BMS. We want to test it for some more time while discussions on BES are still on, hence RIM has been given a fresh deadline,” one of the officials said.

It is expected that the solution offered by RIM would be tested by January, by which the Home Ministry and the Department of Telecom will also setup their security parameters, which includes a fresh legal framework for encryption.

The Home Ministry has asked all telecom operators to provide access to security agencies to legally monitor services for reasons of security of the country.  According to the licensing conditions, service providers are liable to put in a mechanism allowing security agencies to intercept any conversation or message of any subscriber whenever required.

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