Is The End To RIM v. India At Hand?

India might have a solution to the BlackBerry mess that they started. Their solution may surprise you:

ET has just learnt that the telecom department has suggested that every time a corporate email is sent on a BlackBerry handset through an enterprise server located in the premises of any company, a copy of this can be fed to the monitoring systems installed by all internet service providers (ISPs) in the country.

Significantly, the only time an enterprise email sent from a BlackBerry device remains in an un-encrypted or ‘readable’ format is when it resides in the enterprise server. “Feeding the email from the enterprise server to the ISP’s monitoring systems can, accordingly, help security agencies access the communication in pure text form,” DoT proposal said.

The telecom department has also suggested that security agencies, in addition to obtaining email in the text format from the ISP monitoring systems, can also get internet protocol address to identify the sender and receiver of the mail. “In case, the above solution is not acceptable to the ministry of home affairs for enterprise mails, the only option for the telecom department would be to instruct the service providers not to offer the enterprise email services on Blackberry platform,” DoT communication said. A senior home ministry official told ET that the Intelligence Bureau is testing the proposal.

The first half of this sounds really lame to me. Why would any company work under these conditions? If I were a multi-national comany, I’d be setting up shop in someplace other than India rather than submit to this stupidity. That’s no way that intellectual property and legal documents from a company should be floating around in some sort of readable format. This workaround seems like a major security concern for any Indian company. It also seems like a bureaucratic nightmare.

However, The Globe And Mail is reporting that some other “solution” might be at hand:

An RIM technical team in New Delhi has been working with the department of telecoms and security agencies to find a way out.

“We are expecting they will come up with some solution for Enterprise mail next week,” the source said. He did not want to be named as RIM’s discussions with the government are not public.

Let’s hope that this solution makes far more sense than the other one.

One Response to “Is The End To RIM v. India At Hand?”

  1. Do you think that Canada and the U.S. already have deals in place with RIM that allow them to view messages as they please? For some reason I think they might.

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