India security demands weigh on foreign vendors

Robert Clark
04 Aug 2010

India may be the world’s hottest telecom market but it is becoming a nightmare for foreign suppliers.

Research in Motion (RIM) is at a standoff with security services over access to data sent over the BlackBerry, while equipment suppliers are angry over new network security measures announced last week.

RIM has told the Financial Times that it sees no prospect of a deal with Indian authorities agencies over the BlackBerry, which has been banned in Saudi Arabia and likely to be blocked in the Gulf states as well.

RIM refused government requests to set up a proxy server in India and was also refusing to open up its technology to local authorities, which would enable government surveillance.

“It’s like asking Coke for their secret formula. It’s not going to happen,” a source told the FT.

The Indian government believes the terrorists who carried out the Mumbai attacks two years ago used BlackBerry-like devices.

Security officials have warned that BlackBerry will be shut down unless it can be “fully intercepted by our agencies,” the Economic Times reported.

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