Indian Government Issues Ultimatum to RIM

By James Falconer on 3 Jun 2008 11:02 am EDT

Indian Government Turning into the 'Soup Nazi'?The Indian Government has now threatened a total shutdown of BlackBerry services in India, unless RIM complies to their demands. The government wants encryption keys so that they can monitor all messages sent from BlackBerry devices within the country... They are concerned about the possibility of terrorists using the devices to communicate.

The threat, er, 'ultimatum' was reported in the Indian newspaper The Economic Times. The article quoted anonymous attendees of last weeks' meeting between RIM, Indian officials and the Canadian High Commission. For all intents and purposes it is looking like last weeks' meeting will be the last.

The longer this ordeal has gone on, the more the Indian Government has looked like the 'Soup Nazi' (at least in my mind) from Seinfeld. 'No master encryption key? Get out of my country!'

RIM has to stick to their guns here. I'd be very surprised and extremely dissapointed if they backtrack and succumb to the Indian Governments demands... especially when the demands are for something that RIM insists they can not produce.

[ via SecureComputing Australia ]

Topics: News & Rumors

James Falconer James Falconer "Community Manager, Mobile Nations" 357 (articles) 909 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Indian Government Issues Ultimatum to RIM


Simply amazing that the Indian gov't would push ahead with demands that RIM give them something RIM states does not exist. Maybe the Indian Gov't should focus on improving the daily lives of their citizens and less on so called fears about terrorism.

I would bet that the US gov't does have access to the blackberry system already, just like they do to the other telecom companies.

I think RIM should give India access (to data within their country), as it's for a good reason. I know their users want a secure system, but it will still be the most secure system in the world.

to hell with india, let them "pull RIM services from the country" and go back to the 1960's. F them. more blackberries for us

I don't have an opinion one way or the other on this issue, but that picture and the caption are outrageously funny!

The "Soup Nazi" was one of the funniest episodes of Seinfeld.

Thanks for the good yuck.

That would not set a good example for principles of freedom that the US and Canada believe in. Given into that would be unacceptable and dangerous.

To be honest these Indian Gov't vs RIM blogs are annoying. Who cares about India? I personally think it's outrageous that the Indian government wants full access but it's a different country with different beliefs and the choice is simple for RIM:

1. Screw principles and make more money by caving in
2. Stand up to what you believe in and just walk away

No matter what happens, I really could care less. To be honest, I think there are much more serious issues in India than getting RIM service (e.g. poor people living in tents on the street and dying from starvation...focus on that Indian government)

You are 100 percent correct India should focus on much more important things. RIM needs to stop playing with India, walk (run) away and be more productive some where else. They have wasted too much time there already. I don’t ever respond to these things but this one bugged me. Information is power, and fast information is more powerful. You know how much more productive you are have your blackberry. If RIM gave into something like this it just seems like certain unease about India’s government having that excess. Or maybe its just we are losing all are jobs over there any way so its one edge we would have on them.

so... what if india gets the ability to read whats going on inside india... now I go on a trip to india.. uh ohh.. I hope i dont need my balckberry for anything important.. like how my company is about to buy out all the........... oh wait.. they might be reading this. Privacy for the win please

I don't get it. It's well known that US scans all the mails and ISP's and messaging service providers must provide full access to FBI, NSA, and half dozen other agencies. So what's the deal with Indian agencies asking the same access? At least they are politely asking, instead of unscrupulously hacking around. Even China and Singapore have access to monitor mails. Hypocrisy at its best!