RIM, India govt to hold last-minute talks today

Michael Carroll
30 Aug 2010

RIM executives are expected to hold key talks with the Indian government today that could decide the fate of BlackBerry data services in the country.

With the deadline looming on India's ultimatum, RIM officials are slated to meet with Home Secretary G.K. Pillai in an effort to reach agreement on the dispute over surveillance of encrypted BlackBerry data services, the Times of India has reported.

BlackBerry’s messenger service will be banned from August 31 if the parties cannot strike a deal.

RIM has warned that a ban on its data services could damage India’s business prospects and has proposed setting up an industry forum to decide what voice and data communications should be open to scrutiny by India’s security forces.

It said in a statement that it aimed to balance the needs of Indian authorities to monitor communications with the needs of corporate users for secure voice and data systems.

Any outright ban on security encryption “would severely limit the effectiveness and productivity of India’s corporations,” RIM said in a statement emailed to Telecom Asia.

“Strong encryption has become a mandatory requirement for all enterprise-class wireless email services today and is also a fundamental commercial requirement for any country to attract and maintain international business,” the firm noted.

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