Research In Motion will give India access to secure BlackBerry data beginning Sept. 1, a government source said on Monday, leading New Delhi to put off a decision on whether to shut down the smartphone. Concerned about militants using the BlackBerry or Internet to plan attacks, India is also pushing RIM, Google and Skype to set up local servers to allow full monitoring of their services. Shares of Canadian-based RIM rose after the Indian Home Ministry said the company had offered several ways to allow authorities to monitor BlackBerry communications. The government said it would check their feasibility over the next 60 days.
New Delhi had threatened to shut down BlackBerry email services by Tuesday unless RIM provided a workable way for the government to monitor the data. India has said it wants the means to fully track and read BlackBerry communications. Indian officials have also expressed concerns over security threats from Internet-based messaging and other services from providers such as Google and Skype. The government had set a Aug. 31 deadline for RIM to come up with a method to allow email monitoring and avoid a shutdown in the world's fastest-growing mobile phone market. On Monday, a source said RIM provided an interim solution. “They have given some access, which we will operationalize from Sept. 1,” said the government source, referring to RIM. “They will have to provide full access to all communications that go through India. They will have to set up a server in India,” the source said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media.
An RIM spokesman based in India said the company had no immediate comment, while a spokeswoman at Google said the company was unable to comment as it had had no communication from the government. Skype said it had also not received any directive from authorities in India.