Report: RIM opens BlackBerry Messenger services to Indian government

Research In Motion said Thursday it has given the Indian government the ability to access messenger and public e-mail services on BlackBerry smartphones, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

The Indian government had given RIM until Jan. 31 to grant security agencies access to the phone's encrypted messaging systems, which they fear could be used by terrorists to plan attacks. RIM has faced similar demands from a slew of foreign countries since last fall when Saudi Arabia threatened to ban the devices.

India security officials still won't be able to monitor corporate e-mail accounts on the devices, which remains a sticking point between the two sides. RIM has continually said it lacks the ability to decipher the encryption on corporate e-mail accounts.

The Indian government rejected an earlier technical solution from RIM that would have given officials access to messenger services and chats, but not e-mails.

With more than 1 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 2008's terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

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