India rejects RIM technical solution for monitoring BlackBerrys

The Indian government has rejected a proposal offered by Research In Motion that would allow it to monitor messages and chats sent via BlackBerry.

The Indian government agreed to delay a proposed ban on the device's secure messaging services last month. Indian officials expressed concern similar to those several Middle Eastern nations regarding their inability to monitor the messages for national security threats. At the time the device's Canadian maker, RIM, agreed to provide a technical solution to allow Indian officials to monitor the messages.

But according to a report from the Economic Times, Indian officials said they have been unable to intercept chats on the BlackBerry Messenger platform or messages sent using the device's secure e-mail services. RIM officials continue to maintain they do not have the encryption keys for individual users that would allow the Indian government to read the e-mails in question.

RIM officials have until Oct. 31 to find a solution the Indian government finds acceptable or risk having its services banned in the world's largest democracy. With more than one million BlackBerry users, India is one of the company's fastest growing markets. The crackdown began after Indian officials discovered that Pakistani militants used mobile and satellite phones to coordinate last year's terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

Update. RIM sent us the following statement via e-mail:

"There unfortunately continues to be a lot of contradictory, misleading and inaccurate information circulating on the topic of lawful access matters in India. Although the details of any regulatory discussions between RIM and the Government of India are confidential, RIM can confirm that discussions continue to be constructive and RIM remains optimistic that a positive outcome can be achieved. RIM also confirms that it continues to approach lawful access requirements in India within the framework of the core principles that were publicly communicated by RIM on August 12."

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