India hopes to end BlackBerry ban debate

INDIA hopes its concerns about security issues related to BlackBerry services will be resolved within weeks, the telecoms minister said yesterday.

The expected deal will give the government access to electronic messages it fears could be used by terrorists.

India had threatened to shut off BlackBerry-maker RIM’s encrypted email and instant messaging services unless it gained access to them.

After a deal with RIM, India began accessing earlier this month some of the traffic carried on BlackBerry smartphone devices in a campaign driven by fears that unmonitored email and messaging puts the country’s security at risk.

“I do hope it will be resolved,” telecoms minister Andimuthu Raja said yesterday.

India’s interior ministry said last month RIM had offered several ways to allow authorities to monitor BlackBerry communications. The government said it would check their feasibility over the next 60 days.

However, RIM has insisted it cannot decode the encrypted corporate email that is at the heart of its business and is yet to confirm India’s claims that security agencies have started accessing BlackBerry traffic.