India says RIM to give it access to secure data

By Reuters
Posted Aug. 30, 2010 at 1:32 p.m.

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion will give India access to secure data from Sept. 1, a government source said Monday as the country pushes RIM, Google and Skype to set up servers in India due to its security concerns.

On Monday, the interior ministry said RIM had offered India a few proposals to gain access its secure data and that the feasibility of the solutions would be assessed within 60 days. It did not give details of the solutions.
RIM’s stock rose in New York and Toronto.

Echoing similar concerns raised by several other countries, India has said it wants the means to fully track and read BlackBerry’s secure e-mail and instant messaging services, which officials fear could be misused by militants.

Indian officials have also expressed concerns over security threats emerging from Internet-based messaging and other services from providers such as Google and Skype.

The Indian government had given RIM until Aug. 31 to come up with a solution that would allow monitoring of e-mails and avoid disruption of its services in the world’s fastest-growing mobile phone market.

“They have given some access, which we will operationalize from Sept. 1,” said the government source, referring to RIM.

“They will have to provide full access to all communications that go through India. They will have to set up a server in India,” the source said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media.

A RIM spokesman based in India said the company had no immediate comment, while a spokeswoman at Google said the company was unable to comment as it had had no communication from the government.

Skype said it has also not received any directive from authorities in India.

RIM’s stock was up 54 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $46.53 on Nasdaq, and up 80 Canadian cents, or 1.8 percent, at C$49.15 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday afternoon.

BlackBerry’s reputation is built on confidentiality and any move under pressure from governments could hurt the device’s popularity with business professionals and politicians.

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