Indian Minister limits BlackBerry service

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IndiaThe Minister of State for Home Affairs, Sriprakash Jaiswal, has imposed upon all Indian carriers offering BlackBerry service to block any messaging directly between BlackBerrys while a method of legal interception is determined. That’s half-way to a ban that the government said wasn’t going to happen… The carriers’ response has been that the issue is between RIM and the Department of Telecom, and their services should not have to suffer because of it. Of course, the government feels otherwise:

“Our license agreement is with the Indian cellular operators and not with RIM. If any of the clause is flaunted we have to deal with the operators and not the Blackberry service provider,” DoT officials said.

This whole mess started back when a smaller carrier, Tata Teleservices, tried getting the credentials for BlackBerry service, and the government noticed a security gap. It’s tricky to see how this will all end, but if RIM can provide the information the government needs before the feds start to seriously hound carriers, this could all conclude peaceably.