Indian Government May Get Access to 'Secure' BlackBerry User Data


The government of India may reach an agreement with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM) in which officials fearing security threats may get access to the e-mails and instant messages transmitted between owners of the hand-held devices, Reuters reported.

India's interior ministry and Research In Motion will spend the next 60 days reviewing proposals that would give government access to so-called secure data, the wire service said. India will have "some access" to secure data starting Sept. 1, Reuters said, citing a government official it didn't identify.

India is among several countries, including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, that are pushing technology companies like Research In Motion and Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Skype unit to set up servers within their countries so that communications related to potential terrorist acts or online pornography may be better tracked.

If no agreement is reached, India could potentially bar the country's approximately 1 million BlackBerry users from using the devices for anything besides phone calls and Internet browsing, Reuters said.

Such a ban against BlackBerry, which has 41 million users globally, would also benefit companies such as Nokia Corp. (NOK), which will host an e-mail server in India starting in November, and Apple Inc. (APPL), the wire service said.