Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, BPL Mobile and Reliance Communications are currently offering BlackBerry services in India to about 4 lakh subscribers. The whole Blackberry scene came into existence when Tata Teleservices desired to offer the service but was stopped by DoT after security agencies raised concerns about monitoring the content transferred via BlackBerry devices.
The story so far:
Security agencies consistently monitor data and emails sent from BlackBerry devices to other devices. BlackBerry services went into trouble when security agencies raised concern that they could not monitor the data being sent from one BlackBerry device to another due to the high encryption codes.
According to Indian Internet services rules, operators are not allowed to use more than 40 bit encryption code unless they submit a decryption key to the Government.
BlackBerry services provider, Research In Motion (RIM) a Canadian company which uses more than 128 bit encryption codes to make the data transmission secure, had refused to submit the decryption key on the grounds that it was proprietary.This is when the Government raised the issue of banning BlackBerry services in India on the grounds of not complying to the Indian Internet services rules.
In a recent report from the Department of Telecommunication (DoT), it has expressed that the government was not interested in banning BlackBerry services in India and the issue regarding the security of the data transferred would be discussed in a meeting with RIM.
The meeting between DoT and RIM took place on Friday in the capital. In the meeting DoT has asked RIM to look at the possibility of setting up a server in India in case they are not willing to share the decryption key. This request was also supported by Indian telecom operators who are pressurizing RIM to resolve the issue at the earliest.
Locating a server in India will allow the security agencies to monitor traffic at the gateway without having to break into the BlackBerry’s secure transmission codes. Setting up such a server in India could cost RIM a whopping amount of $500,000.