RIM finally sets up BlackBerry server in Mumbai

After much controversy, BlackBerry has finally set up its server in Mumbai following intense pressure from the government.

New Delhi: After much controversy,
BlackBerry has finally set up its server in Mumbai following
intense pressure from the government to provide a mechanism
for lawful interception of its messenger services and Nokia
has been asked to follow suit.

During a high-level meeting at the Union Home Ministry
recently, officials of the security agencies were informed
that Canada-based Research in Motion has installed the servers
in Mumbai.

The servers have been inspected by a team of officers and
permission for direct linkage for lawful interception was
expected to be issued shortly, a presentation made at the
meeting held in the office of the Home Secretary said.

About the Nokia Push Mail, the Department of Telecom also
prescribed a similar policy as in the case adopted by the
BlackBerry, the presentation said.

The government and BlackBerry manufacturers were in a
logjam over its services in India as security agencies had
raised a red flag over its operations citing non availability
of method to intercept its messenger service and enterprise

However, there was a climbdown by the government on
intercepting mail sent through BlackBerry Enterprise Services
(BES) which decrypts the messages and sends it to email server
of the service provider where it remains stored in decrypted
form. Then the message is pushed to the BlackBerry device in
encrypted form.

The DoT secretary informed that currently there are about
5000 Enterprise Servers for BES. Director Intelligence Bureau
Nehchal Sandhu noted that these are communications between the
employees of the enterprise only and, therefore, are not of
"high concern" for security or Intelligence agencies.

"However, it was decided to obtain list and location of
the servers from telecom service providers," the presentation

RIM representatives had explained that BlackBerry mobile
device sends the encrypted email which is sent to BES located
with the service provider.

The government had said the onus of giving access to
security agencies to monitor the information on these smart
phones lies with the service providers.

According to the licensing conditions, the service
providers are liable to put in a mechanism to allow security
agencies to intercept any conversation or message of any
subscriber whenever required.

As telecom service providers like Airtel, Vodafone, RCom,
the Tatas and the government-run BSNL and MTNL are offering
BlackBerry services, it is the responsibility of these
operators to ensure that the security agencies get access to
all services they offer.

RIM has its operations in 175 countries.


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