Major telecom companies in country have agreed to providing real time
intercept facilities for Blackberry smart phones meeting a December 31
deadline set by the government.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) had
set a deadline of December 31 for lawful real time legal interception of
Blackberry services after the Canadian-based manufacturer of the smart
phone Research In Motion (RIM) had provided a solution for the same.
initial reluctance from all major telecom service providers including
Bharti Airtel and Tata, all the operators fell in line and installed the
software for providing real time intercept of all facilities to the
security agencies, sources said Sunday.
RIM, which has more than
one million subscribers in India, had been asked to provide resolution
and web-browsing requirements in respect of Blackberry Internet Service
(BIS) in consultation with the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) and
their lawful interception vendors. RIM agreed to place a server in
Mumbai in this connection, the sources added.
Vodafone and Tata's
were among the first TSPs to report compliance which was followed by
Bharti Airtel who have also offered to the DoT that they were ready for
testing of the equipment.
TSPs had been pushing for extension of
tomorrow's deadline but a reluctant DoT finally made them fall in line
and ensure that the interception facilities were completed before
December 31, the sources said.
In a statement, Blackberry had said
that "we are pleased to inform you that RIM has now delivered a
solution that enables India's wireless carriers to address their lawful
access requirements for our consumer messaging services, which include
Blackberry Messenger (BBM) and Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) email.
lawful access capability now available to RIM's carrier partners meets
the standard required by the Government of India for all consumer
messaging services offered in the Indian marketplace. We also wish to
underscore, once again, that this enablement of lawful access does not
extend to Blackberry Enterprise Server."
The Blackberry services,
which were termed as security threat at one point of time by security
agencies, had been asked to provide resolution and web-browsing
requirements in respect of Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) in
consultation with the TSPs and their lawful interception vendors.
agreed to place a server in Mumbai in this connection and also stated
that it has complied with the requirements of the probe agencies after
their services were red-flagged on the security issues as the
interception was not in the readable format.