Research In Motion’s popular BlackBerry email and instant messaging services will be shut down if the Canadian maker does not address Indian security concerns by August 31, the government said on Thursday.
A DoT official, who declined to be named, told reporters that the meeting ended “inconclusively,” but refused to provide details.
The ultimatum came hours after the interior secretary, India’s top civil servant over internal security, held talks with intelligence officials and state-run telecom operators about how to gain access to the encrypted content, the latest global headache for Research In Motion (RIM).
India is among the growing list of nations to scrutinize BlackBerry services because of concern the devices may be used by terrorists to plan attacks and other illegal activities as encryption doesn’t allow intelligence agencies to tap the mail traffic. Security threats in India include fighting insurgencies from Kashmir in the north to Assam in the east.
Bharti Airtel and Vodafone’s India unit are the largest providers of BlackBerry services in India, the world’s fastest growing mobile phone market.
A number of Middle Eastern countries recently cited BlackBerry services as a potential national security hazard, although the Canadian phone maker has made progress in negotiations with Saudi Arabia.
In the United Arab Emirates, BlackBerry’s Messenger, e-mail and Web browsing services will be halted from Oct. 11, the nation’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority said on Aug. 1.