In the aftermath of the terror attacks in India last week, it has been discovered that the terrorists were found with BlackBerry devices on them.
After all the trouble RIM had getting them into India to start with, could this be an excuse to have pulled by the government in India ?
Article Courtesy ‘The Financial Express’ :
New Delhi: The Mumbai terror attacks are likely to once again put e-mail services of BlackBerry under the government’s scanner. The authorities’ inability to intercept the satellite communication mode, used by the terrorists who attacked Mumbai, is being widely felt by the industry and sections within the government as one of the impediments in the current crisis.
In the past, concerns have been raised by the home ministry about the lack of legal interception being available for the BlackBerry services. In every likelihood the home ministry is going to press on the issue once again.
It was the absence of satellite interception facility in the country due to which the intelligence agencies were unable to foil the terror plots. Similarly BlackBerry services, which have over 1 million subscribers in the country, cannot be lawfully intercepted. Communication on a BlackBerry device can be intercepted on a mobile network since the communication passes through a mobile network in a reformatted manner. However, in cases where such communication is between BlackBerry devices, interception is not possible. BlackBerry services provide access to email through push technology on mobile phones and the service is currently being offered by Bhart Airtel, Vodafone-Essar, BPL, Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL). A Canadian firm Research in Motion (RIM) is the technology provider for the BlackBerry services globally.
The issue was first brought to limelight early this year when Tatas were denied permission as the ministry of home affairs (MHA) said that communication between BlackBerry devices couldn’t be intercepted. However, the Canadian firm RIM had appeared reluctant in sharing its technological capabilities and wanted more time to find an alternative route rather than setting up servers in the country. The Canadian firm, however, finally expressed its inability to either provide a solution to Indian security agencies to decode content or shift servers to the sub-continent nation to enable them monitor e-mails and other data. The matter was finally resolved when the department of telecommunications secretary, Siddharth Behura said that the government does not accord permission or deny the same to operators for launching the services.
Behura’s statement then was seen as a complete turnaround from the earlier position. “There is no threat from BlackBerry services. There is no permission needed for starting value added services. We have not given permission to anybody, we have not disallowed anybody,” Behura had then said. Interestingly, the DoT had earlier, on the advice…