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BlackBerry lets authorities spy on users to end dispute with Indian government

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Law enforcement agencies in India will have real time access to email communications, BlackBerry Messenger chats, and the web browsing habits of users inside the country. The expanded surveillance capabilities come as part of a deal between BlackBerry and India's government, marking the end of a lengthy dispute over monitoring practices. While the pact isn't final, a leaked document obtained by The Times of India suggests India is preparing to purchase the BlackBerry-engineered equipment in Mumbai. The memo also reportedly says that nine mobile providers have already begun implementation of the technology.

Local authorities threatened to shut down BlackBerry's infrastructure in 2011 unless it agreed to comply with lawful access requirements providing the government a way to intercept messages. BlackBerry is emphasizing that all of this surveillance is in accordance with local law — leaving the company with little choice — and also points out that its Enterprise Server customers won't have to worry about any direct monitoring. Authorities won't have access to email records of BES users, but they will be able to request information about which businesses are using the platform, according to the Times.