India's Department of Telecommunications is testing a Research in Motion solution that provides real-time monitoring of the company's mobile services, according to the Wall Street Journal.
RIM has come under immense pressure from several countries – including India – that believe the level of encryption associated with Blackberry devices could stir political unrest and intensify national security fears. India had initially set an Aug. 15 deadline for RIM to enable the real-time tracking of BlackBerry Messenger and BlackBerry Enterprise services, but the company has sought several extensions.
Although it is still unclear what services the interception solution will monitor, the move could help put an end to the squabbling between India and RIM, which maintains a strong presence in the Asian nation.
“Our (Department of Telecom’s) testing team is looking at the interception solution provided by RIM and we expect a report from them in a month and then we will look at what has to be done,” Telecom Secretary R. Chandrasekhar told reporters in New Delhi.
Chandrasekhar said that the interception solution is for resolving "different aspects of security concerns," however he did not specify what services it helps to monitor. The Journal reports that RIM has already offered solutions that monitor Web browsing and the Blackberry messenger service, but has claimed that no technology exists that can monitor its corporate email service, something India has allegedly demanded.
RIM has been reluctant to break down the walls of its highly encrypted Enterprise service because the secure nature of the offering is what sets the company apart from its competitors.
Although it has struggled mightily in the U.S., RIM has done quite well in India, even beating out dominant global players like Apple, which accounted for just 2.6 percent of India’s smartphone shipments in the second quarter, according to Bloomberg. RIM, meanwhile, accounted for 15 percent of the market share.
If RIM is forced to give up the keys to the fortress, it could cede more market share to companies like Nokia and Samsung. RIM shares have plummeted nearly 65 percent on the year.
Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.Edited by Rich Steeves
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