India is in Blackberry email talks

INDIA is in talks with Research In Motion (RIM) to gain access to BlackBerry corporate e-mails after securing access to instant messages sent via the devices, a senior government source said yesterday.

India, which along with several other countries has expressed concerns that BlackBerry services could be used to stir political or social instability, had threatened RIM with a ban if it were denied access to data.

A spokeswoman for RIM, which has never commented on whether the Indian government has access to BlackBerry services, was not immediately available for comment.

The Indian interior ministry said on 30 August that the Canadian firm had offered several ways to allow authorities to monitor BlackBerry communications.

The government said it would check their feasibility over the next 60 days.

Saudi Arabia, fretful over services such as online pornography, has reached a deal with RIM on access to the BlackBerry Messenger instant messaging service, a consumer product that operates outside of the secure corporate domain, according to government sources.

Meanwhile, both Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have raised similar concerns, with the UAE setting an October 11 deadline for RIM.