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India Threatens to Ban BlackBerry, Google, Skype

India Threatens to Ban BlackBerry, Google, Skype

Techtree News Staff, Jul 01, 2010 1745 hrs IST

I invite comments on the following news from Techtree issued on Jul 01, 2010

The Indian government has asked Research in Motion, Google and Skype to ensure that
their data is available in a readable format for security and
intelligence agencies. The Department of Telecom (DoT) has offered a
time period of 15 days to take appropriate steps for the same. If this
does not happen, these services might be banned in India, reported
Business Line. Security agencies also pointed out that they are not
able to snoop into services offered by Tata Teleservices and Reliance
Communications.

Back in August 2008, the government had banned certain BlackBerry services until monitoring (read: snooping) their
systems. Once again, BlackBerry, along with Google's Gmail and Skype
Voice-over-IP services, are under government security scanner. The
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Intelligence Bureau, the DoT and the
National Technical Research Organisation have, in a meeting, decided to
amend IT laws for compelling foreign companies to provide readable data
to security and intelligence agencies.

An internal government note says, "DoT will call the representatives of Research In Motion
(manufacturer of Blackberry devices) and Skype and ask them to ensure
that the content going through the telecom service providers is in
readable format. They have to ensure that this is implemented within 15
days failing which services that do not allow lawful interception on a
real-time basis would be blocked/banned."

A Google spokesperson said that they have not received any communication on this subject from
the Indian government as yet. "We will comment if and when we get any
letter from the DoT," the spokesperson said. Representatives of Google
would be called to ensure that Gmail is also in a readable format. But
Google has been using secured socket layer by default for Gmail from
quite a while now.

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