Mar 15, 2008

Indian Government denies RIM BlackBerry threat

After fears earlier this week that the Indian Department of Telecommunications would cut off BlackBerry push-email servers in the country over RIM’s refusal to hand over decryption algorithms, Telecoms Secretary Siddhartha Behura has now made clear that the Indian government is not considering pulling the plug on the service. Confirming that the ministry is “very keen” that RIM’s service continue, he denied that the company was being threatened in that way:

“There is no question of banning at this point … We are not interested that we say BlackBerry will not used in this country” Siddhartha Behura, Telecoms Secretary, Indian Government

“The interactions are going on with various stakeholders including the home ministry … I do believe it will be resolved” Andimuthu Raja, Telecoms Minister, Indian Government

It’s news that will come as a relief for the approximately 400,000 BlackBerry users there, as well as the four networks which provide the service. However the government is still pushing for access to encrypted messages:

“We want operators to talk to BlackBerry people and put pressure on them to provide the necessary and satisfactory answers to security agencies. That is what we are talking to them” Siddhartha Behura, Telecoms Secretary, Indian Government

A meeting is scheduled for Friday evening to discuss the issue.

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