India Demands Access to BlackBerry Email Too

Seems like RIM ain’t getting off the hook that easy. RIM has been in a lot of trouble regarding their secure and encrypted email and messaging service. Many countries seem to believe that this secure system can be used by terrorists and other malicious entities. Therefore, they have demanded some form of mechanism to monitor the encrypted data.

In a recent development India has now demanded access to encrypted email too. Previously, RIM was facing a ban threat from Indian authorities, which was later relaxed. The current situation on the story as reported by Reuters is as follows:

India is in talks with Research In Motion Ltd to gain access to BlackBerry corporate e-mails after securing access to instant messages sent via the devices, a senior government source said on Tuesday. India, which along with several other countries has expressed concerns that BlackBerry services could be used to stir political or social instability, had threatened RIM with a ban if it were denied access to data.  A spokeswoman for RIM, which has never commented on whether the Indian government has access to BlackBerry services, was not immediately available for comment.

The secure communication mechanism by the Canadian company being a threat to security is quite debatable.A previous post on SiliconAngle elaborates how this is a political contradiction.

An analysis of this whole scenario brings us to two main points to ponder. Firstly, how do governments and corporations balance out the trade-off between monitoring for national security concerns and user privacy rights? Secondly, is it fair to single out BlackBerry and subject them to demands with dire consequences as complete bans? India is a fast growing market for smart phones. This whole episode of “give access or else” is hurting RIM’s position in the fierce competition with competitors as iPhone, Android phones and even Nokia.