India's BlackBerry monitoring system 'ready for use'

Smartphone maker has successfully developed a lawful interception system allowing the Indian government to track e-mail and intercept Web browsing in real-time.

Indian government can monitor e-mail messages and attachments, regardless of whether BBM chats had been "delivered" or "read".

BlackBerry has satisfied the Indian government's demands for a system that will allow it to track communications over the vendor's platform in real-time. 

The Department of Telecommunications said the lawful interception system for BlackBerry Services was "ready for use," according to a report Thursday in The Economic Times.

This means communications sent to or from any BlackBerry device can be tracked by the government including e-mail messages and attachments, regardless of whether BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) chats had been "delivered" or "read". Web browsing via the mobile device can also be intercepted.

However, a BlackBerry spokesperson told The Economic Times this would not include corporate e-mail sent via the BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

"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 spokesperson said.

The system is being deployed by 9 of the 10 telcos that provide BlackBerry services in the country. Russian telecom operator, Sistema Shyam Teleservices, has not given a deadline on when it will implement the system.

In the near future, BlackBerry will hand over the monitoring architecture installed at Mumbai  to the government, the report said. 

The announcement ends a long dispute between the Indian government and the Canadian smartphone maker which had been pressured to enable the government to monitor BlackBerry devices, as part of its efforts to thwart terrorism.