Govt plans to take possession of BlackBerry infrastructure, says report
The government plans to take possession of the server and other infrastructure placed by BlackBerry in Mumbai to test the solution offered by the smartphone maker for legal interception of Internet communication, according to a report by PTI.
According to an internal note of the Telecom Ministry, prepared after testing the interception of various services of BlackBerry by central security agencies, it was recommended to “initiate a process to take over the possession of BlackBerry infrastructure created at Mumbai for which a suitable agreement may be entered between Department of Telecommunication and BlackBerry, PTI reported.
The report stated that after initially being reluctant in sharing information, BlackBerry is now complying with the requirements of the government to ensure that all its services are intercepted in readable format and in real time, as and when required by the security agencies.
Giving details of the findings of the tests carried out, the security agencies said there was an urgent need for decrypting the internet browsing services being offered on the smartphone by April this year as the BlackBerry team had been able to provide only a temporary solution to this.
The ‘attachments’ with the emails generated under the BlackBerry Internet Services (BIS) from the smartphone also could not be downloaded in real time, it was stated.
It was also recommended that there was a need for negotiating with BlackBerry to provide Personal Identification Number (PIN) and International Mobile Equipment Identification (IMEI) list for all the BlackBerry handsets.
“With respect to PIN to IMEI resolution, the tested solution is apparently satisfactory for all the handsets officially shipped to India. With regard to handsets shipped to other countries, RIM intimated that PIN to IMEI correlation in such cases can be obtained through BlackBerry Public safety office (PSO),” PTI quoted the internal note, adding, “We may negotiate with BlackBerry to provide the entire IMEI-PIN correlation data of other countries.”
In the meantime, telecom service providers have been asked to complete testing of their equipment at the earliest so that the security agencies are satisfied with legal interception of mails and messages as and when required.
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