BlackBerry Gets 60-Day Reprieve in India

The more than one million BlackBerry users in India can continue using their devices without restrictions after the government decided to delay a ban that it had planned to impose against Research in Motion Ltd. due to disagreements regarding access to encrypted corporate e-mails and instant messaging.

India said it would allow unbridled access to services offered by RIM for 60 days, but would decide after the period whether to impose the ban or not. The country’s telecommunications department has been tasked to study the possibility of forwarding data exchanged by BlackBerry users from RIM to government servers.

Reports said the ban was averted after RIM agreed to allow the government to access encrypted corporate information. “RIM have made certain proposals for lawful access by law enforcement agencies and these would be operationalized immediately. The feasibility of the solutions offered would be assessed thereafter,” the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement.

On the one hand, BlackBerry’s stronger-than-usual data encryption has put RIM on the warpath with some Asian and Middle Eastern governments, which fear that the system might be used by terrorist organizations to bypass security. However, RIM has received strong support from corporations that are eager to protect trade secrets.