Indian cellcos ready to snoop on BlackBerry

Dylan Bushell-Embling
27 Oct 2010
Indian operators are reportedly ready to intercept BlackBerry communications for the nation's security agencies, despite concerns that the new procedure itself is not secure.
Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar, Idea, Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices and Aircel have told the telecom ministry they are ready to comply with orders to allow security officials to monitor BlackBerry messages, sources within the telecom ministry told the Economic Times.
State-owned BSNL has also indicated it is in compliance. But Sistema Shyam and the other state carrier, MTNL, have yet to inform the Department of Telecom (DoT) that their systems have been upgraded.
At least one cellco, Reliance, has also written to the department it is worried the monitoring process could expose the intercepted data to leaks over the internet, ET's sources said.
Under the system operators are being pressed to install, RIM would push the intercepted contents of messages to an operator's PC via the internet, they said. It would be sent to India's Lawful Interception System for decoding and then sent back to the computer.
Because the process would leave unencrypted data on a computer with an internet connection, RCom is reportedly concerned that the data will not be secure from those not legally authorized to view it.


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