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DoT Makes Operators Fall In Line On B'berry Issue
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Major telecom companies in the 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 intercept of all facilities to the security agencies, sources said on Sunday.
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. 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 who have also offered to the DoT that they were ready for testing of the equipment.
TSPs had been pushing for extension of the 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.
In a statement, Blackberry had said that "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.
"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."
The Blackberry services, which were termed as security threat at one point of time by security agencies, had been 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 the readable format.