Govt to ask Google, Skype to give data access

Govt to ask Google, Skype to give data access

New Delhi: The government will send notices to Google and Skype asking them to set up servers in the country and give access to its internet data, a top home ministry official said on Wednesday.

Echoing concerns raised by several other countries, India has already said it wants the means to fully track and read BlackBerry’s secure email and access to internet data that officials fear could be misused by terrorists.

BlackBerry maker, Research In Motion, will give India access to secure BlackBerry data beginning 1 September, a government source said this week, leading New Delhi to put off a decision on whether to shut down the smartphone.

Union home secretary G K Pillai told reporters that similar demands will be made of Google and Skype and notices will be sent to them. He did not say when.

BlackBerry’s reputation is built on its system security and a compromise under pressure from governments could damage the device’s popularity with business professionals and politicians.

Apple Inc and Nokia, RIM’s two biggest smartphone rivals, may have the most to gain if India blocks BlackBerry services. Nokia said on Monday it will host an email server in India from 5 November.