DoT Spurns RIM’s Interception Solution for its Incapacity to Convert E-mail Messages to Readable Format

Written By Sam on 1 October 2010

The Indian government has given RIM an October 31 deadline for handing over encryption keys and codes of the smartphone company’s corporate mail and messaging services. And the security jinx seems to continue, what latest reports coming in that the country’s telecom department (DoT) has rejected the company’s interception solution for its corporate e-mail service and has noted that the solution is incapable of converting the e-mail messages into a readable format.

A report published by the Economic Times that claims to be in possession of an internal note quoted a senior DoT official as saying, “RIM maintains that it does not have the keys that can be offered to security agencies for converting secure corporate email into readable format”. We may recall, the government had earlier directed all mobile operators in the company to install legal interception tools. However, RIM’s did not want to compromise on BlackBerry’s super secure corporate e-mail, which also happens to be the company’s USP and an instant hit with its high-flying consumers. In fact, recently RIM had also noted that blocking the popular BlackBerry service may not end India’s security woes. In contrast, it could encourage terror outfits and security offenders to explore encryption online. This sentiment was echoed by many BlackBerry users; and reports and plugs discussed at length how offenders can resort to innumerable alternate encryption solutions available through the internet.

When the government extended its earlier August 31 deadline to block BlackBerry services by two months, it looked like RIM did have a solution up its sleeve. But with the latest news of DoT expressing displeasure over RIM’s faulty interception solution looks like a set back to discussions between the government security agencies and the smartphone company.

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