Feeds

Indian gov says no plan to squeeze out BlackBerrys

'At this point'

The essential guide to IT transformation

Indian telecoms secretary Siddhartha Behura has confirmed the country is not seeking a ban on the use of BlackBerrys, as the government continues talks with operators about lawful interception.

The suggestion that RIM's emailing handheld might be banned from the subcontinent surfaced last Friday when Tata Teleservices was refused a license to run a BlackBerry service on the grounds that communications were encrypted so couldn't be intercepted.

Tata responded that other operators were already offering the service, so a confused Department of Telecoms fired off letters to the other operators asking them to explain themselves, and set up a meeting to discuss the matter today.

There are about 400,000 BlackBerry users in India, and under Indian law the network operator is responsible for letting the security services intercept any communications. But with the BlackBerry services located outside India, that's technically impossible.

Intercepting messages can only be done with RIM's agreement, and so far the Canadian company isn't playing ball.

This is part of a wider crackdown on encrypted communications in India which includes asking ISPs to restrict themselves to 40-bit keys for web-based applications, something they are still fighting.

The availability of strong encryption has phased most governments at some point, and even in Europe there were attempts to ban its use on security grounds. Eventually the authorities realised a better strategy was to change the law to make forgetting an encryption key illegal, while simultaneously hinting that they could break any encryption if they wanted to anyway.

Generally there are easier ways of accessing secured communications, but putting the service in a different country, as RIM does, makes that a great deal more difficult. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial
Umina trial also delivers 30 mbps uploads, but exact rig used not revealed
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?