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RIM denies agreement to hand BES access to India

Research In Motion has said that comments from an unnamed Indian official claiming that the company has agreed to provide access to customer data are inaccurate.The company issued the response following a report on the Indian news website LiveMint.
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Written by Ben Woods on

Research In Motion has said that comments from an unnamed Indian official claiming that the company has agreed to provide access to customer data are inaccurate.

The company issued the response following a report on the Indian news website LiveMint.com which claimed that RIM had agreed to provide recorded data from its servers, with a view to providing live access to the BES in the future.

"RIM has once again found it necessary to address certain media reports in India containing inaccurate and misleading statements and information based on unsubstantiated claims from unnamed sources," a spokesperson said. "All our discussions with the Government of India have been and continue to be productive and fully consistent with the four core principles we follow in addressing lawful access matters around the world. Any suggestion to the contrary is false."

RIM has faced pressure from several countries — including India, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Kuwait and the UAE — over the encryption used in its BlackBerry Enterprise Server which makes it difficult to monitor email, IM and web browsing.

In a statement issued in August, RIM said that BES was designed to preclude RIM, or any third party, from reading encrypted data, adding that it could not provide the encryption keys even if it wanted to.

In an updated statement on Friday, RIM added:

"RIM and the government of India have had a variety of constructive discussions over the past several months and we are pleased with the outcomes and progress of these discussions. There has never been a ban imposed on any BlackBerry service in India and all services continue to be fully available today," it reads. "Our ongoing discussions with the government of India continue to be very positive and progressive, and we are confident that any outstanding concerns can be resolved to our mutual satisfaction."

In September, the Indian authorities also requested that Skype and Google allow the government to monitor their customer data or face being banned from operating in the country.

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