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Blackberry’s India Issues Resolved? Whither Transparency?

Update: The Economic Times quotes Department of Telecom sources, according to whom government organizations have managed to decrypt email messages sent via Blackberry, on Airtel, RCOM, Vodafone and BPL networks.  The tests have been done only for non-enterprise solutions. Nothing official about it, though.

Original story: So has the security issue with the Blackberry been resolved? A couple of months ago, there was no formal notification from the government – just a comment on the sidelines of a conference, which was followed up by something of an about-face.

And yet, since Research in Motion co-CEO Jim Balsillie’s visit to India, a number of initiatives have been announced:

— Airtel announced the launch of the Blackberry Bold in India, priced at Rs. 34,990
— Reliance Communications launched the first Prepaid service for the Blackberry in India
— RIM may set up a Manufacturing, R&D, Logistics and Support facilities in India [via Indiatimes]

However, the one that really caught my attention was the launch of Blackberry services from Tata Teleservices.

Remember that it was Tata Teleservices application to the Department of Telecom to offer Blackberry services that started this debate over security issues around the Blackberry in India; the government wanted “lawful interception” of communication over the Blackberry. While I’m not saying that they should block the Blackberry, but once they’ve raised an issue, there should at least be some communication over how it has been resolved, so that other vendors know what’s kosher, and what’s not. What has changed over the past six months?

— Is Blackberry providing means of decrypting communication?
— Is Blackberry relocating servers to India?
— Has the government decided that interception of Blackberry services is not an issue? Should that apply to other vendors as well?

Some transparency, please.

P.s.: In case you missed it, it appears that Republican Presidential nominee John McCain invented the Blackberry. Heh.

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