Panel pulls up govt for extensions to RIM

Blackberry services cannot be intercepted in readable format

The panel on information technology in its latest report said: “The committee expresses unhappiness over the way the extension after extension are being given to resolve such an important issue related to security of the country.”

“The committee has been apprised that out of the various services provided by BlackBerry, the BlackBerry Messenger and BlackBerry Enterprise Solution services cannot be intercepted in readable format, even if the encrypted message is made available by the service providers,” it added.

To ensure the encrypted messages through its servers do not pose a threat to the country’s security, the government has been pressing RIM to provide a solution to intercept and read messages by its users. Despite solutions offered by RIM failing to satisfy security agencies, the government had offered three extensions of its deadline to shut down its services. The last one ended in March 31, 2011, and RIM services continued.

RIM said it had been singled out for encrypting messages, while similar such services by its rivals have been offered, threatening to escalate the issue to the industry level.  To consider ways of opening up encrypted messages to security agencies in compliance with the Indian Telegraph Act, the government then created a committee.

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