Government assured us we would not be singled out: RIM

Friday, February 18, 2011

NEW DELHI - BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) Friday said it has been assured by the Indian government that it would not be singled out on policies related to “lawful access” requirement as other such service providers who use encryption will also be scrutinised.

“RIM has been assured by senior Indian government officials that RIM will not be singled out and that any policy relating to “lawful access” requirements for encrypted enterprise or VPN (virtual private network) telecommunications will be applied equitably, broadly, and simultaneously to all such products and services that use encryption in India,” the company said in a statement.

Earlier, RIM had said that there was no possibility of providing India access to corporate emails as its technological make-up did not allow it to provide keys to accounts of customers using such services. It added that the service was not exclusive to Blackberry and that the company accounted for a very small segment of the market.

“We cannot give solution to the enterprise services, its not possible to do so because the keys of that service are in the possession of the corporate enterprises,” Research in Motion vice president (industry and government relations) Robert E. Crow told reporters during his last visit to India.

“BlackBerry represents a very small fraction of other VPN used in India. Certainly my perception is there is a broader recognition and appreciation that this is not an issue unique to BlackBerry,” he added.

The Indian government has asked RIM for access to all BlackBerry services, expressing concerns over possible use of its services by terrorists and anti-social elements. The government had also threatened RIM that it will ban its services if the company denied access to its messenger and corporate communication services.

So far the Canadian firm, has given India access to its messenger service.

Blackberry has over one million customers in India.

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