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India threatens to ban Blackberry email, messaging

ICT Desk |
Update: 2010-08-13 22:20:25
India threatens to ban Blackberry email, messaging

India may temporarily shut down BlackBerry messaging services over security concerns after a meeting about the smartphone proved `inconclusive` this morning.

India`s interior ministry is pressing for a deadline to be fixed for Canadian maker Research in Motion to share encryption details.

The Indian government is planning to ask mobile phone operators to block BlackBerry messaging and email until provides access to data transmitted over the handset.

A shutdown would affect one million of the smartphone`s 41 million users. India is one of RIM`s fastest growing markets.

If a shutdown takes effect, BlackBerry users in India would only be able to use the devices for phone calls and Internet browsing.

India fears BlackBerry could provide cover for militant activities. In 2008, a Pakistani-based group used mobile and satellite phones to coordinate attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people.

The Indian demands follow a deal with Saudi Arabia, where a source said RIM has agreed to give authorities codes for BlackBerry Messenger users. The United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Algeria are also seeking access.

BDST: 1655 HRS, 14 August 2010

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