UPDATE 1-India gives mobile operators deadline on BlackBerry

* Asks operators to have monitoring system for services by Aug
31
* Security concerns force govt to push for access to mails
(Adds details, quotes)

By Devidutta Tripathy

NEW DELHI, Aug 17 (BestGrowthStock) – India, which has threatened
to block some BlackBerry services over security worries, has
formally asked mobile operators to ensure a monitoring system
for the smartphone’s services by Aug. 31.

At least three mobile operators confirmed they had received
letters from the Department of Telecommunications giving them a
deadline to put in place monitoring capability for BlackBerry
Messenger and secured Enterprise email services.

“We have received a letter … asking us to ensure that
legal intervention capability is put in place for BlackBerry
services by 31 August 2010,” a statement from Tata Teleservices
[TATASL.UL], one of the operators given the deadline, said.
[ID:nSGE67F0KO].

India is the latest country to step up pressure on RIM,
which has built the BlackBerry’s reputation around
confidentiality.

Business professionals and politicians prefer the device.
Governments, including Saudi Arabia, fear it could become a
tool for militants to plan attacks or those breaking Islamic
laws.

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For a Q+A on BlackBerry’s security, click [ID:nN12132220]
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>

New Delhi says it will shut Blackberry services if RIM
(RIM.TO: )(RIMM.O: ) does not allow access to its messaging or
secured email services, threatening its future in the world’s
fastest-growing telecoms market.

A shutdown would affect about one million users in India
out of a total 41 million BlackBerry users worldwide, allowing
them to use the devices only for calls and Internet browsing.

A senior government source told Reuters that a RIM
technical team was likely to meet officials from the
telecommunications ministry and intelligence agencies on
Tuesday.

“The onus is on service providers to ensure that they have
some sort of interception mechanism in place before the
deadline ends,” a senior Interior security official told
Reuters.

“It is binding upon them and the DoT (department of
telecommunications), which is the nodal agency, will ensure
that it is followed strictly in the interest of national
security.”

A source at one of India’s biggest telecom operators said
the government wants “suitable interception and monitoring”
solution in readable format for the law enforcement agencies.

According to a government source, RIM has already assured
India of limited access to BlackBerry instant messages by Sept.
1, and promised talks this week on monitoring its more secure
corporate email. [ID:nSGE67G02M]

RIM has lost more than 11 percent of its market
capitalisation since Aug. 1, when governments in Saudi Arabia
and the United Arab Emirates said they would also consider a
ban. [ID:nLDE6700AZ]

But some analysts say the fall has been overdone and expect
a bounce as RIM resolves the issue.
(Additional reporting by Bappa Majumdar, Writing by Krittivas
Mukherjee; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan and Valerie Lee)

UPDATE 1-India gives mobile operators deadline on BlackBerry