Canadian Security Magazine

RIM sets up facility to help Indian government with lawful surveillance

By The Canadian Press   

News Data Security

Waterloo, Ont.-based Research In Motion has set up a facility in Mumbai to help the Indian government carry out lawful surveillance of its BlackBerry services, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The Waterloo, Ont., company gave India access to its consumer services, including its BlackBerry Messenger texting service in January after authorities raised security concerns, the newspaper said.

However, RIM said it could not allow monitoring of its enterprise email.

The newspaper said RIM partly assuaged India’s security concerns by setting up the small Mumbai facility to handle surveillance requests from India.

India can submit the name of a suspect its investigators want to wiretap and RIM will return decoded messages for that individual, as long as it is satisfied the request has legal authorization, it said.


RIM was not available for comment.

The new facility will handle lawful intercept requests for consumer services including the BlackBerry Messenger chat service, the paper added.

India saw the move as a positive step, but would prefer an arrangement where it has the ability to decode messages itself, so that it can conduct surveillance without disclosing the names of suspects to RIM, the Journal reported. India has faced domestic terrorism.

India still has no method to intercept and decode BlackBerry enterprise email, which is used by corporate customers and features a higher level of encryption than consumer email and instant messages.

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