According to recent reports, the Government of India has decided to go after companies including Google and Skype, after cracking down on BlackBerry in the quest to keep it’s mobile phone market safe from militants and cyber spying. Wherever there is a concern on grounds of national security the India government wants access and lawful interference to the mobile network.
According to Reuters, the Indian authorities have for more than a year been looking at Google’s messaging, Skype and other providers of communication in India. They have already forced mobile phone operators to follow strict import rules when buying telecoms network equipment.
India has given Research In Motion (RIM) until August 31 to comply with a request to gain access to encrypted corporate email and messaging services using BlackBerry or those services will be shut. A shutdown would hit one million users in India out of the 41 million smartphone users. India is one of RIM’s fastest growing markets.
It is said that RIM agreed to give Saudi Arabia authorities codes for BlackBerry Messenger users. The United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Algeria also seek access. India wants access to encrypted data in a readable format, a demand RIM is resisting. RIM had proposed tracking emails without sharing encryption details, but that was not enough for the authorities.
RIM, unlike rivals Nokia and Apple, operates its own network through secure servers located in Canada and other countries, such as Britain. If a shutdown takes effect, BlackBerry users in India would only be able to use the devices for calls and Internet browsing.