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Report: RIM Must Hand Over Keys Or Risk Takedown

<i>The Economic Times</i> is reporting that the Indian government's Department of Telecom isn't buying RIM's claim that it can't hand over the encryption keys for its popular BlackBerrys. And that the telecom department is (in the best Don Corleone voice it could muster) giving RIM an ultimatum it can't refuse. While there's no severed horse head, there's more to the story.

The Economic Times is reporting that the Indian government's Department of Telecom isn't buying RIM's claim that it can't hand over the encryption keys for its popular BlackBerrys. And that the telecom department is (in the best Don Corleone voice it could muster) giving RIM an ultimatum it can't refuse. While there's no severed horse head, there's more to the story.According to this report, sources told the Economic Times that the DoT told both RIM and the Canadian High Commission that telcos in India would be asked (read: told) to cease BlackBerry services unless RIM provides a way to monitor communications, or physically moves its servers to India.

According to the story, DoT also told RIM that there would be no more discussions on the issue until RIM devises a solution that would "break the deadlock."

We noted the news last week when RIM told the DoT that it wouldn't provide the encryption keys, as well as the when it became clear that the encryption riff between RIM and the Indian government wasn't going to blow over.

And then just today, TechTree has reported that RIM is feeling somewhat singled out:

"Now the company [RIM] is saying that there are at least four other mobile e-mail solutions (Windows Mobile ActiveSync, Nokia Intellisync, Motorola Good, and Seven Networks), using encryption levels comparable to those of BlackBerry, being offered by handset makers including Nokia and Motorola and by software players including Microsoft and Seven Networks."

And that story then asks the obvious:

"RIM is now arguing that when there are other solutions using comparable encryption levels, why is it facing the music alone?"

Good question. And it means, at first blush, that either Microsoft, Nokia, Motorola, and Seven Networks either already have complied, or they're about to be dancing along with RIM very soon.

About the Author(s)

George V. Hulme, Contributing Writer

Contributor

An award winning writer and journalist, for more than 20 years George Hulme has written about business, technology, and IT security topics. He currently freelances for a wide range of publications, and is security blogger at InformationWeek.com.

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