RIM says gives India solution for Messenger access

RIM says gives India solution for Messenger access

New Delhi: BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion said on Thursday it had given a solution to India ahead of a 31 Jan. target date for access to consumer services including BlackBerry Messenger, but reiterated that no changes can be made to the security system for corporate emails.

India had last year threatened to shut off corporate email and instant messenger services on BlackBerry unless it gains access to them, in a campaign driven by fears that unmonitored communication puts the country’s security at risk.

RIM averted a potential ban and the Indian government said last October that RIM had set up an interim arrangement for lawful interception of BlackBerry Messenger services and assured a final solution by end-January.

RIM said in a customer update the solution it had given would enable Indian wireless carriers to address lawful access requirements for consumer messaging services including BlackBerry Messenger and BlackBerry Internet Service and that the solution meets the standard required by the Indian government.

The firm reiterated that it did not have capabilities to provide access to its highly secure corporate emails.

RIM uses powerful codes to scramble, or encrypt, email messages as they travel between a BlackBerry device and a computer known as a BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

The company has said it does not have a master key to decode these emails and only the sponsoring business or organisation has the technical capability to grant access to encrypted enterprise email.

“...no changes can be made to the security architecture for BlackBerry Enterprise Server customers since, contrary to any rumors, the security architecture is the same around the world and RIM truly has no ability to provide its customers’ encryption keys," the company said in a customer update.

RIM, which had earlier offered to lead an industry forum to look at India’s need to have access to BlackBerry services, said on Thursday the government was seeking to address access issues for BlackBerry corporate emails at an “industry level" as similar strong encryption was being widely used by others.

This week, RIM said it would filter pornographic Internet content for its BlackBerry smartphone users in Indonesia, following government pressure to restrict access to porn sites or face its browsing service being shut down.

Last year, the company narrowly escaped a ban in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Neither side disclosed what RIM did to get itself onside with UAE telecom regulations.