RIM to give India partial BlackBerry access

RIM to give India partial BlackBerry access

New Delhi: Research In Motion has assured India of limited access to BlackBerry instant messages by 1 September, and promised talks this week on monitoring its more secure corporate email, a government source has said.

RIM faces an 31 August deadline to give authorities the means to track and read BlackBerry Enterprise email and its separate BlackBerry Messenger service.

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The government, concerned about the potential for terrorists to use the secure BlackBerry network to carry out attacks, has vowed to shut the services if RIM fails to comply, cutting it out of one of the world’s fastest-growing telecom market.

“They have assured partial access to its Messenger services by 1 September and agreed to provide full access by the end of the year," a senior government source, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

New Delhi says it will pull the plug on the two key BlackBerry services if Canada-based RIM does not comply. Some 1 million of RIM’s 41 million customers live in India, where upcoming 3G network rollout is expected to boost smartphone growth.

“We hope they will address our security concerns," an interior ministry official said.

A spokeswoman for Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM could not be reached immediately for comment.

India is not the only country pressuring RIM, which built the BlackBerry’s reputation around confidentiality. That cachet among