RIM Gets Reprieve From India BlackBerry Ban

Research In Motion (RIM) managed to create some breathing room for itself Monday in its standoff with the government of India over whether the popular BlackBerry mobile devices would get banned in the country.

In a statement on Monday, India's Ministry of Home Affairs said its Department of Telecommunications would take 60 days to review solutions proposed by the Canadian company. The announcement comes one day before the deadline originally imposed by the Indian government.

The Indian government, along with the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, want to be able to tap into and monitor mobile communications traffic for national security purposes, including the traffic on RIM's (NASDAQ: RIMM) BlackBerry service.

Officials for those countries, as well as in Indonesia and Lebanon, argue that RIM's encryption technology, combined with the physical location of its servers (many of which are in Canada), makes it all but impossible for their security agencies to monitor BlackBerry correspondence for possible terrorist activity or other illicit communications.

Indian officials with the Ministry of Home Affairs said RIM had agreed to locate one of its servers within the country.

"Government of India have been having discussions with RIM Canada over the last few weeks on the issue of lawful access by the law enforcement agencies to the communications passing through RIM systems," the ministry said in a statement. "RIM have made certain proposals for lawful access by law enforcement agencies and these would be operationalized immediately. The feasibility of the solutions offered would be assessed thereafter."

Earlier this month, the United Arab Emirates set an Oct. 11 deadline for RIM to address its concerns. That government said it would ban BlackBerry services if it is not satisfied.

Thor Olavsrud is a contributor to InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


Blackberry, RIM, Research In Motion, India, United Arab Emirates