Blackberry faces Indian showdown after missing deadline

Blackberry faces Indian showdown after missing deadline

Officials in Delhi say they need to read encrypted Blackberry messages to help guard against terrorist attacks.

They have been locked in negotiations with Research In Motion, which makes the popular device, since last summer.

However as a January 31 deadline passed, RIM said it would not lift encryption for its business clients.

Indian officials are concerned that encrypted e-mail could be used to coordinate terrorist attacks similar to those that hit Mumbai in November 2008, killing 164 people.


Indian authorities were on the verge of banning the device last August, but ultimately granted Research In Motion an extension. The war of words with the technology company continued, however.

Local media reports suggest that a total ban is unlikely, although such a move would not be entirely unprecedented.

The gadget was banned temporarily for similar reasons by the Saudi Arabian authorities last August, with service interrupted for several hours before a deal was reached.

Officials in the nearby United Arab Emirates, meanwhile, retracted their threat to ban Blackberry handsets in October after reaching a "satisfactory" agreement with the company.

At the same time, however, diplomats and politicians in other countries are banned from using the devices because of concerns about lax security.

France banned officials from using Blackberrys in 2007 amid concerns that they could be spied upon too easily, while earlier this week Pakistan enacted a similar ban - which has since been reversed.(BBC)