BlackBerry, GoI settle on email, BBM interception

As a result of this the government will now be able to monitor e-mails and e-mail attachments in real-time which are sent using BlackBerry services while also being able to intercept messages sent and received on BlackBerry Messenger. According to Economic Times, which claims to have reviewed a copy of the internal Department of Telecom (DoT) document, “Baring a few minor points for improvement of viewers, the lawful interception system for BlackBerry Services is ready for use.”

The initial demands of the government also included ability to intercept and monitor emails and messages send using BlackBerry Enterprise Server. But, it seems that the demands have been shelved for now.

A BlackBerry spokesperson said, “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. We also wish to underscore, once again, that this enablement of lawful access does not extend to BlackBerry Enterprise Server.”

The ET reports states that demonstrations of the interception capabilities were provided to DoT and IB official on June 12 in Mumbai over Vodafone network. The demo was satisfactory and a formal agreement may soon be signed between BlackBerry and Government of India in regard. The report also states that all telecom operators will be asked to deploy BlackBerry interception by Dec 31, 2013.

BlackBerry is to setup a surveillance centre in Mumbai and the government is expected to take it over once the officials have been trained at the Canadian company’s Ontario facility on technical infrastructure management and operation and maintenance of the monitoring facility.