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RIM Extending Tools to India BlackBerry Monitoring

by Winston Sih | August 14, 2010August 14, 2010 3:12 pm PDT

Research in Motion has extended the government of India tools to monitor communications sent via BlackBerry’s email service (BIS and BES), according to reports from the Wall Street Journal on Saturday.

The report indicated that according to the minutes of a conference between RIM and government officials, the company had “a setup to help … security agencies in tracking the messages in which security agencies are interested.”

These reports are the latest developments in the saga of the Canadian company’s efforts to reassure and address governments’ security concerns and prevent the company’s device from being shut out to markets because of the bans.

India said on Thursday that it would switch off BlackBerry messaging services in the country at the end of August unless RIM met their demands.  Earlier this month, RIM reportedly struck a deal with Saudi Arabia and dodged a ban in that country.  Other threats have come from the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia.

One of the main reasons for these countries being concerned included that BlackBerry, which features stronger privacy settings than other devices on the market, could be possibly be utilized by terrorists and criminals to avoid being caught.  RIM reassures and wants to maintain the highly gained reputation and integrity that has made them so famous in the past, while still insuring access to developing markets in these countries.

The Journal points out, in countries such as the U.S. and Canada, law enforcement agencies typically need a court order to gain access to email messages, but in countries like India, regulations aren’t as set-in-stone.

RIM issued a statement to reassure its customers saying that it was negotiating with governments “in the spirit of supporting legal and national security requirements, while also preserving the lawful needs of citizens and corporations.”