The Home Ministry of India gave a threat last Thursday to block BlackBerry corporate e-mail and messaging services unless the Canada’s Research in Motion Ltd. makes them accessible to its security agencies setting Aug. 31, 2010 as the deadline. They said that if no technical solution is given on or before the deadline, they will take steps to block the services from their country’s mobile phone network.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have also given threats to cut off popular BlackBerry services unless they get greater access to user information. Like India, security concerns have been cited in pushing for access to encrypted information sent by BlackBerry units that gets routed through servers overseas.
India has asked for encrypted BlackBerry communications to be made easily available to its intelligence and law enforcement agencies, saying that the services could be used by militant groups. The 10 heavily armed gunmen who rampaged through Mumbai, India’s financial capital, in November 2008, killing 166 people, used cell and satellite phones to communicate with their Pakistan-based handlers, according to Indian officials.