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India extends RIM's deadline to January; Unlikely to give in

By Yousif Abdullah on 12 Oct 2010 12:37 pm EDT

BlackBerry India

Tensions between India and RIM build up as the deadline for RIM to provide a solution to the governmental needs of India is extended to January 2011. An official of the department of communications in India said "[RIM] has till January to put all interception solutions in place." This shows how India is very serious about gaining access to monitor BlackBerry traffic, and is unlikely to give in like the Emirates. India had earlier been given access to monitor BlackBerry Messenger communications, but the government is seeking access to monitor corporate e-mail as well, despite RIM stating the difficulty in doing so. Interestingly, RIM has agreed to set up a local server in the country to have all communications happening through the BlackBerry network stay within the country. This could be the only chance for BlackBerry users in India, but only time will tell what happens next.

Some local companies in India have already proposed alternative solutions to BlackBerry users in case the requirements set by the government are not met and BlackBerry services are suspended. Jaipur-based Data Infosys for example, has started offering a service called Bharat Berry, which bases on software from Funambol to enable push e-mail and synchronization of calendar and contacts. It is a question mark as of now whether BlackBerry users in India start adopting the use of these services, but the decision must be done quickly as the deadline is only a couple of months away. Calling all CrackBerry readers from India! How does this make you feel? What are you going to do? Voice your opinion in the comments!

Source: livemint

Reader comments

India extends RIM's deadline to January; Unlikely to give in


nothing is gona happne BlackBerry will stay here right in india, forget bharat berry and all. if at all anything happens just push blackberry to use gprs and download gmail patch and push mail works. mail is done now for chat download trillian or some freeware messenger. BlackBerry messenger problem also solved. nothing to worry BlackBerry will do everything possible. they also cant afford to lose huge customer base.

I would not say that "nothing" is going to happen. Either BlackBerry services are suspended or RIM provides a local server for use by the Indian government to route BlackBerry communication through the country itself. These two options are currently the most likely to happen. I am personally leaning towards the latter, it simply suits RIM better as they definitely would not want to lose a customer base as large as India.

Also, I am very happy to see you being ready for everything. BlackBerry smartphones can do much without a BlackBerry specific data plan and it is important to note that more and more people who do not even have the need for mobile e-mail are acquiring themselves a BlackBerry. Excellent as a PDA or pocket computer.

RIM cannot provide India corporate BES keys because they don't own it and they don't create it. What are these officials thinking? What about MSN Hotmail, gmail, etc.? What do they hope to do with these encrypted messages?

If the Indian government wants BES access, they can serve police warrants to seize the company's BES servers. This has nothing at all to do with RIM.

None of the services you mentioned are encrypted in the way an enterprise BlackBerry solution is encrypted. Governments throughout the world can already intercept your data that is flowing through networks such as Windows Live!, Facebook and Google. All the information that passes through your service provider is in an unencrypted format. In fact, it is possible that your activity has already been monitored as well. USA PATRIOT Act a familiar name? In particular, have a look at Title II of the Act:

In addition, you do know that the Obama administration is preparing a bill to deliver next year to Congress that calls for wiretapping all Internet based communication? Soon, RIM might face the exact same issues in the States that it is struggling with in the Middle East right now. I have covered this already:

it should be the peoples choice not the government pushing rim to do what they want, the only reason i got a bb is for the security, and since no other phone on the market provide the kind of security as a blackberry would i will be scared to even be in inda with this going on. All the businesses will be watched monitored, tracked and traced and by the way india is large but not larger that the use of Indonesians but still i think they should just leave the people business alone its non of there business. good luck on anything going coming out after the final plan drops. thats the hole idea of why they want this they just want to see what your talking about so they can in return buy you out.

All developed countries are already monitoring their citizens 24/7, especially America. If anything, countries like Saudia and India are behind trying to monitor these type of devices or asking for permission.

If anyone, then definitely India has legitimate reason to be afraid of terrorists. Ever heard of the 2008 Mumbai attacks? And that the militant group involved in the attacks used BlackBerry smartphones among other gadgets to co-ordinate the assault?

I want to be as clear as possible as some people just do not "get" it: fear of terrorism in many parts of the world is REAL and CURRENT.

You may wish to read my analysis of RIM in the Middle East in case I am not being clear enough:

Besides, you are overstating the claim. The poster does not assert that terrorism is not real or that India does not have a "legitimate reason to be afraid." Every country has real and legitimate concerns with terrorism. Certainly smartphones and BlackBerrys can play a role in terroristic attacks. While concerns of terrorism are certainly in the minds of all nations, it is ignorant to assume that India's move to further invade the private lives of its citizens is merely terrorism.

Really? The Mumbai terrorists used a BES server to route their messages? Because that's what the Indian government wants access to. Real-time monitoring of corporate servers.

This is just sabre-rattling. If India was serious about shutting down RIM they wouldn't keep extending the deadline.

The deadline has been extended for (a) the Common Wealth Games currently underway in Delhi and (b) President Obama's visit to India in November (if I recall, he is a Blackberry addict)

I've heard that speculation as well, but why January 31st if Obama is visiting in November? He's not staying for three months and if this was really a threat to national security, do you think they'd extend it so Obama can use his email?

If you look at the countries involved, India and UAE, there are other political issues far beyond RIM between the countries. The UAE has been trying to negotiate additional landing rights in Toronto and India has been jousting with Canada over several issues(India using CANDU technology to build nuclear weapons, India accusing Canada of harboring Sikh terrorists,etc) for decades. RIM just seems to be caught up in political maneuvering rather than any real "threat to national security".

india is among most corrupted places,
bribe them and RIM problem is solved.

Indian govt should take real good measures to tackle internet and data flow on internet. instead they love to procrastinate in name of RIM game.

gives stop argueing just tell us the alternative device pleasee :))
i dont wanna use android as its soo new os and i might use win7 but what you guys blackberry owner think ???

If RIM are thrown out of India then presumably that awful Blackberry advert blogged on CrackBerry recently will be scrapped ;)

You understand that no matter how many 0's you put after that 5 it's still equal to 1.5 right?

Wait I think I'm making the same mistake RIM is, trying to explain simple things to Indians. j/k.


In different parts of the world, numbers are written differently. In the USA we use commas every 3 digits, and periods mean a decimal. This isn't the case in (most of) the rest of the world.

The poster almost certainly wrote the number "correctly," just not the way we happen to write them here (I assume you're American).

Sometimes it's a bit surprising to discover who is actually the ignorant one, isn't it?


This may be the fastest use of the race card I've ever seen. Watch out for good can come of it.

Since the government is so demanding anyways, why don't they just force their people to use certain services that are unsafe and easy to monitor....

RIM needs to ditch this country, the government is too unreasonable.

I am sure there would be a solution to the Blackberry, the stakes are high for both the government and RIM. But as we all know that the encryption happens between the BES and each individual handset... this would be a no go. The only thing the government can do is to ask for a server in the country. I hope the government has resources and tools to monitor the mammoth traffic generated by the email and messenger if it gets to monitor the same.

jeeez i didnt know there would be fight just for the numberz that i wrote
P.S im not indian ( italian living in india ) so i pretty much get the joke

Seriously, who cares about india. Everyone knows this is a simple futile effort to gain more control.

To my knowledge terrorists seem to be much more technologically advanced in India because they use berrys. (sarcasm). It's hard to catch them BECAUSE THEY AVOID TELECOMMUNICATIONS!!!!! See everywhere else in the world they communicate in person often within only their own sphere of social networks. The whole essence of isolated cells is to avoid "capture" or "linkage" to other ones, so using a traceable phone with traceable emails goes against everything they are taught. But apparently the Indian government is arguing that their terrorists, are far better than any other country in the world.

This motives behind this is so obvious I pitty anyone who believes that the Indian governments action is simply for counterterrorism.

India is corrupt: fact
India has one of the lowest health working environments in the world: fact
The majority of India lives in poverty: fact
India has no health care system accessable to everyone: fact
Indias birthrate is higher than the infrastructure can accomodate: fact

Solve these issues, then we can talk about emails

To my knowledge terrorists seem to be much more technologically advanced in India because they use berrys. (sarcasm). It's hard to catch them BECAUSE THEY AVOID TELECOMMUNICATIONS!!!!! See everywhere else in the world they communicate in person often within only their own sphere of social networks. The whole essence of isolated cells is to avoid "capture" or "linkage" to other ones, so using a traceable phone with traceable emails goes against everything they are taught. But apparently the Indian government is arguing that their terrorists, are far better than any other country in the world.
End Quote

This isn't correct. I've written a few papers on terrorism, which is only significant because it means I've read a good chunk of what's been written on the topic. I'm here to tell you, this is factually incorrect. Most terrorist organizations use telecommunications in very interesting ways, but don't think they don't use it!

For excample, what's widely regarded as Al-Qaeda's master plan was only published as a .pdf.

Terrorists use technology, and I haven't the slightest doubt the Mumbai attacks, and groups in Kashmir, and probably the Maoist rebels, all groups India is fighting, use Blackberrys.

Your other points I can agree with, but this one is a question of fact, and...yeah. Ok! Point made!

In UAE, the deal was finalized few weeks after the announcement of blackberry suspension. However, it was kept for days before suspension date. Deal was done. Other details are confidential. Same issue was for previous countries as US, China & other European countries. However, they didn't have to announce suspension (Large Blackberry Market).

My contact in the Emirates also confirms your statement, but let me be clear as to what I meant with "give in". A deal had certainly been reached between the UAE and RIM, there is no doubt, but the UAE did not actually suspend BlackBerry services. Instead, a compromise was reached you see. That sort of giving in. Until now except for the temporal suspension of BlackBerry services in Saudi Arabia, most of the Middle East is merely playing with the numbers.