Govt. raises security concerns over BlackBerry services


Reuters | Thu Jul 29, 2010 | 1:14pm IST

India has raised security concerns with Research In Motion over the Canadian company’s popular BlackBerry services, but is not planning a ban in the world’s fastest growing mobile phone market. Internal Security Chief U.K. Bansal told reporters on Thursday that he hoped Indian concerns that militants may use the BlackBerry data services would be resolved soon. "They (RIM) have assured us that they will be addressing it," Bansal said.

Security officials are concerned that the BlackBerry services poses a national security threat because of encrypted data sent on RIM devices. They want access to the encrypted services. The home ministry has clamped down on mobile phone operators following the Mumbai attacks in 2008, which killed 166 people. India said on Wednesday telecoms equipment vendors must allow inspection of their gear and made carriers solely responsible for the security of their networks, addressing security worries that had led to restrictions on Chinese manufacturers.   

The authorities have also clamped down on pre-paid mobile phone subscriptions in the disputed Kashmir region because of suspicion they were used by militants to stage attacks against Indian security forces. India also says Pakistani-based militants used Indian mobile phone networks to plan the Mumbai attacks. Telecoms companies are now required to provide more details about mobile phone users or risk being banned from providing certain services.

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