Telecos agree to real-time intercept for Blackberry messages

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31 Dec 2012 , 08:19

New Delhi: Major telecom companies in country have agreed to providing real-time intercept facilities for Blackberry smartphones meeting a 31 December deadline set by the government.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) had set a deadline of 31 December for lawful real time legal interception of Blackberry services after the Canadian-based manufacturer of the smart phone – Research In Motion (RIM) – had provided a solution for the same.

After initial reluctance from all major telecom service providers including Bharti Airtel and Tata, all the operators fell in line and installed the software for providing real-time interception of all facilities to the security agencies, sources said today.

RIM, which has more than one million subscribers in India, had been asked to provide resolution and web-browsing requirements in respect of Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) in consultation with the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) and their lawful interception vendors.

Major telecom companies in country have agreed to providing real-time intercept facilities for Blackberry smartphones meeting a 31 December deadline set by the government.Getty Images

RIM agreed to place a server in Mumbai in this connection, the sources added.

Vodafone and Tata’s were among the first TSPs to report compliance which was followed by Bharti Airtel which had also told the DoT that they were ready for testing of the equipment.

TSPs had been pushing for extension of today’s deadline but a reluctant DoT finally made them fall in line and ensure that the interception facilities were completed before 31 December, the sources said.

“We are pleased to inform you that RIM has now delivered a solution that enables India’s wireless carriers to address their lawful access requirements for our consumer messaging services, which include Blackberry Messenger (BBM) and Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) email,” Blackberry had said in a statement.

“The lawful access capability now available to RIM’s carrier partners meets the standard required by the Government of India for all consumer messaging services offered in the Indian marketplace. We also wish to underscore, once again, that this enablement of lawful access does not extend to Blackberry Enterprise Server,” it said.

The Blackberry services, which were termed as security threat at one point of time by security agencies, were asked to provide resolution and web-browsing requirements in respect of Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) in consultation with the TSPs and their lawful interception vendors.

RIM agreed to place a server in Mumbai in this connection and also stated that it has complied with the requirements of the probe agencies after their services were red-flagged on the security issues as the interception was not in a readable format.

PTI


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