RIM says India tool only for consumer services

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 30, 2010 20:50 hrs

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) said today the network data analysis system (NDAS) was a tool to gain lawful access only to its consumer services including BlackBerry Messenger, and does not enable access to highly secure corporate emails on its devices.

RIM, in a statement, reiterated that there would be no change to its security model for corporate emails, clarifying after a newspaper earlier reported RIM had offered to install the tool at its premises in India to help tap data.

RIM has said it was cooperating with the Indian government and was enabling mobile carriers to lawfully access data on BlackBerry Messenger.

India had threatened to shut off BlackBerry Messenger and corporate email services unless it gains access to them, in a campaign driven by fears that unmonitored communication puts the country’s security at risk.

RIM averted a ban earlier this year, and the Indian government said in late October that RIM had set up an interim arrangement for lawful interception of BlackBerry Messenger services and assured a final solution by the end of January 2011.

Indian government officials have said discussions are still on with the company on corporate email access. But no easy fix is seen as BlackBerry’s reputation is built on its system security and a compromise under pressure from governments could damage the device’s popularity with business professionals and politicians.

RIM said it was "technologically infeasible" to enable access to corporate email through an NDAS.

The company had earlier said it was confident that India’s security concerns could be resolved to their mutual satisfaction and has consistent global standards for lawful access, which do not include special deals for specific countries.

RIM uses powerful codes to scramble, or encrypt, email messages as they travel between a BlackBerry device and a computer known as a BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

The company has said it does not have a master key to decode these emails and only the sponsoring business or organisation has the technical capability to grant access to encrypted enterprise email.

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