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RIM misses deadline for Indian security solution

India’s telecommunications authorities could still enforce a ban on RIM’s BlackBerry device, as RIM has missed the most recent deadline for granting the government monitoring access to its enterprise services.

However, it is likely that both parties are keen to find a solution; RIM would obviously wish to avoid being locked out of the second-biggest global mobile market, while statements from Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram suggest that a complete solution would be preferable to a ban, saying “We have been given a solution to the messenger service, we will insist that they give us the solution for the enterprise services too.”

The issue at hand is of course the compromising of customer security – something which RIM is understandably reluctant to permit. The vendor’s VP Robert Crow has made this clear, stating “There is no possibility of giving any kind of a solution for interception of enterprise mail services. We don’t have any keys... it is technologically not feasible to give a solution.”

Although a deadline extension is certainly not out of the question, the Indian authorities have been demanding access to BlackBerry corporate email services since August 2010. Having compromised by allowing the interception of its messenger services, RIM is reluctant to make any more concessions.

The vendor has made clear that the difficulty of accessing private data is both intentional and embedded, stating that BlackBerry security is “purposefully designed to exclude the capability for RIM or any third party to read encrypted information under any circumstances.”

However, deputy telecoms minister Sachin Pilot has also reaffirmed the Indian government’s position, stating: “We are not in a position to compromise on security. We need to make sure that there are no loopholes in our security systems."

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