RIM to allow India to monitor BlackBerry services - report

Research in Motion has agreed to allow Indian security agencies to monitor its BlackBerry services.

The move follows threats from the governments of Saudi Arabia and the UAE to ban some services on BlackBerry handsets because the encrypted message services, hosted offshore, cannot be intercepted by local security services.

RIM has offered to share with Indian security agencies its technical codes for corporate email services, open up access to all consumer emails within 15 days and also develop tools within six to eight months to allow the monitoring of chat sessions, the paper said, citing internal government documents.

RIM will provide further details on its proposals to the Indian telecoms ministry on Tuesday, it added.

RIM on Monday pledged to satisfy the security needs both of customers and governments, a day after the United Arab Emirates threatened to cut off some BlackBerry services because authorities could not access encrypted messaging data.

India has raised security concerns with BlackBerry services, but is not planning a ban, the country's internal security chief said last week, adding the company had assured them that it would be addressing Indian government's concerns.

The news drove RIM's shares down  2.7 per cent on Monday, before they recovered to trade down less than 1 per cent as some analysts said they were optimistic that the security issue could be resolved.

The BlackBerry's tight email security has been key to its popularity with businesses, and is RIM's main selling point against smartphone rivals.

The United States said it was disappointed that the UAE planned to cut off BlackBerry services, noting that the Gulf nation was setting a dangerous precedent in limiting freedom of information.  

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