Report: India Says BlackBerry Message Tracking Does Not Work

India's Department of Telecommunications (DOT) is not satisfied with the access Research In Motion (RIM) is providing to security agencies for interception of communications on both its instant messenger and enterprise services, according to a report on Friday in The Economic Times, an Indian daily.

The Indian government said on Aug. 30 that it was reviewing for a period of 60 days proposals from Research In Motion (RIM) for lawful access to its networks by law enforcement agencies in India. The government did not at the time disclose specifics of the proposals from RIM.

The Indian government had earlier asked for access to communications on BlackBerry's enterprise server and its instant messaging application. It had threatened to block BlackBerry services offered by Indian operators if they did not comply by Aug. 31.

The government is worried that online and mobile communications are increasingly being used by terrorists to plan their attacks.

The newspaper report said that in an internal note of Sept. 28, the telecom department's security wing has claimed that security agencies have been unable to intercept or monitor secure email communication made through the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) in readable format. Law enforcement agencies have also failed to intercept chats on the BlackBerry messenger platform, according to the note.

A DOT spokesman declined to comment on the newspaper report. RIM's spokesman in India did not return calls.

The Indian government has said that it will also ask Google, Skype and other companies providing communications services in India to make provisions for interception of these communications by India's security agencies. The government did not however say when it would ask these companies to introduce interception capabilities.

RIM's competitor Nokia has said that it will go along with Indian government rules on interception of its services. The company said in August that it will set up servers in India by November for its push e-mail service in the country, to comply with government regulations.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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