Indian Ops Told to Sniff BlackBerrys

10:00 AM -- The BlackBerry imbroglio continues, with the Indian government sending formal notice to that country's major mobile operators directing them to set up equipment to monitor BlackBerry services by August 31, according to a report by the BBC.

The operators would need to monitor both messenger and enterprise services in a readable format. Currently, nine operators are offering BlackBerry services in the country.

Citing national security as the reason, the Indian government has said that it will shut down BlackBerry services if the firm does not meet its demands to give access to its encrypted messenger and email services by August 31.

Earlier there were meetings being held between the Indian government and BlackBerry , creators of the BlackBerry phones and service. But RIM has consistently resisted efforts to share the source code that would allow the law enforcement agencies to monitor its messaging as well as the email services. With this development, the government has put the onus of getting RIM to comply on the operators. (See Security Storm in India and RIM to Comply in India .)

This isn't RIM's first trouble abroad. The company was recently in the news for facing a potential ban in Saudi Arabia for the same reason. (See RIM Reprieve and BlackBerry Jam in UAE .)

Analysts believe that this episode is going to lead the Indian operators to multiply the monitoring points to be able to fully comply with the new and increased security requirements of the Indian Government.

“This controversy is going to make the Indian operators more aware of the security requirements of the Indian government and might lead them to install enhanced monitoring equipment. In general, Indian operators are going to increase the monitoring points,” Neeraj Jain, director of transaction services at KPMG International tells Light Reading Asia.

India is a big market for BlackBerry, with around 1 million subscribers. With the prices of BlackBerry services continually coming down, RIM would have hoped for a substantial increase in its subscriber base this year, especially so with the forthcoming launch of 3G services by the private operators in the country. Now, RIM and the mobile operators are going to try their best to come out with a win-win solution.

— Gagandeep Kaur, India Editor, Light Reading

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:26:33 PM
re: Indian Ops Told to Sniff BlackBerrys

I just want to point out here that BlackBerry Imbroglio would be a great name for a designer fragrance.

You're welcome.

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