India’s Union Home Ministry recently rejected Tata Teleservices application for offering BlackBerry Service to world’s second largest country. Apparently the BlackBerry’s security proves a bit “too secure” for the Union Home Ministry’s liking.
The Union Home Ministry wants access to all communications made through a mobile device at any given time, which is not done now in the case of BlackBerry device which works through a server and data is transferred in an encrypted format. As Blackberry does not allow for any interception, the Centre sees this as a security threat, particularly in the current scenario where terrorist organizations are using the Internet to communicate.
What is really interesting is that other Indian telecommunications companies like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone-Essar, and Reliance Communications already offer the BlackBerry in India. It is not yet clear if this ban will only apply to Tata Teleservices, who has already sought a clarification from the Department of Telecommunications as to why they are being singled out, or if other telcos will see an end to their support of the BlackBerry.
A letter from the DoT has gone out to other telcos that currently support the BlackBerry informing them that they will have to provide monitoring facility for lawful interception of data transferred through the device. The big question is how are they going to do this?