BlackBerry ready to enable India to track messages

BlackBerry is ready to provide Indian law enforcement authorities with a way to track emails, email attachments and chats sent over its services

BlackBerry is ready to provide Indian law enforcement authorities with a way to track emails and email attachments and check whether messages sent over BlackBerry Messenger have been delivered or read.

Authorities will also be able to intercept web-browsing facilities to end a long-standing dispute over the interception of communications on BlackBerry devices, according to the Times of India.

The Indian government has put pressure on BlackBerry for access to its messaging services because of concerns that terrorists could use encrypted services to coordinate attacks.

In the face of mounting pressure, BlackBerry offered to enable lawful interception in its security architecture in January 2011.

The imminent deployment of the interception system was revealed in a leaked government document.

However, the paper noted that officials appear to have dropped demands that the firm also make it possible to access business emails sent over BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

In 2010, India threatened to impose a ban on BlackBerry devices, saying law enforcement authorities needed to be able to decrypt and read messages sent by suspected terrorists.

But BlackBerry has always maintained that it does not have a way of accessing encrypted corporate information sent through its services.

The Times of India said the government now appears to be "content with just knowing" who is sending messages using the BlackBerry service.

A BlackBerry spokesperson told the paper that the company had delivered a solution that enabled India's wireless carriers to address their lawful access requirements for its consumer messaging services.

These include BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) email.

"The lawful access capability now available to BlackBerry's carrier partners meets the standard required by the government of India for all consumer messaging services offered in the Indian marketplace,” the company said in a statement.

“We also wish to underscore, once again, that enabling lawful access does not extend to BlackBerry Enterprise Server," the statement added.

According to the leaked document, nine of the 10 telecom networks offering BlackBerry services are in the process of making it possible for authorities to carry out intercepts.

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