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03 November 2010, 11:14

RIM averts BlackBerry ban in India

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RIM Logo The Indian government press office is reporting that Research In Motion (RIM), the Canadian company behind the BlackBerry, has provided the government with an interim solution to enable Indian government agencies to eavesdrop on BlackBerry Messenger Service (BBM) traffic. The Indian government expects to receive a permanent solution by the end of January, 2011. By doing so RIM has averted the threat of a ban on all BlackBerry services in India.

The news comes only two weeks after it was revealed that the United Arab Emirates had also reached an agreement with RIM, though no specific mention was made of BBM in that case. The reports suggest that both countries are less concerned about the strong encryption used by the BlackBerry Enterprise Service, which is predominantly used by businesses. RIM has always credibly maintained that it has no access to this data.

BBM is an text message-like service which exchanges messages between BlackBerry devices via BlackBerry infrastructure. Like other instant messaging applications, it also shows the availability of messaging contacts. In contrast to text messages, mobile phone operators do not host BBM servers, which makes the service more difficult for governments to monitor. However, BBM messages between BlackBerrys are not protected as they are encrypted using a known key. RIM is able to assist national governments in this area by providing access to local data traffic.

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