Friday, March 28, 2008

BlackBerry emails may be on govt snoop list soon

Electronic mails sent from BlackBerry handsets, manufactured by Canada's Research In Motion and distributed in the country by the two top cellular service providers, may soon join the long list of the government's snoop list.The home ministry has asked the department of telecommunication (DoT) to work out modalities for lawful interception of e-mails sent from this handheld device.The BlackBerry is a patented service that allows users to receive and send e-mails on the move just like text messages in any conventional mobile phone.It transfers data in an encrypted format and does not allow interception. At present, mails sent from a BlackBerry — unlike those originating from any normal computer — cannot be intercepted by security agencies as the device works through a server outside India.The government wants the service to come under the scope for lawful interception owing to security implications, especially when members of terror outfits are increasingly using e-mails to communicate among themselves.A blanket ban on the service is, however, not preferred as it will hit nearly five lakh mobile subscribers using BlackBerry.The MHA wants DoT to work out a solution with the Canadian firm. Sources said that DoT has already written to Indian telecom operators providing the service in India, asking them for monitoring facility for lawful interception of data transferred through the devi

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