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Indian government readying BlackBerry snooping system

Indian government readying BlackBerry snooping system


The Indian government has announced that it is close to being able to access RIM's BlackBerry emails and BBM messages.

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The Indian government's system to monitor encrypted BlackBerry email and BBM services will be up and running soon, according to a report by India Today. This follows the installation of a BlackBerry service center in Mumbai, designed to allow easier "lawful access" by the government to the data of RIM's one million Indian customers in cases of suspected criminal activity. In order to access the service, law enforcement agents must gain permission from the Union Home Ministry, before sending a request to the suspect's operator or RIM for the data it needs.

One notable exception to this rule is big business — BlackBerry Enterprise servers are not covered by the same system, with the government saying that the business-focused service is not of "high concern" to the security authorities. For RIM, allowing access to its platform is the only way that it can continue to operate in the country following an ultimatum similar to the one it was given in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia: allow the government access, or shut down its service.