Blackberry service providers to meet Dot on Monday

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New Delhi, Apr 15 (UNI) The security issue of Blackberry services in the country, which has come under a security scanner, is expected to be resolved on April 21 at a meeting between Bharti Airtel, Reliance, Vodafone Essar and Department of Telecom (DoT) officials.

DoT along with national security agencies is now examining why Indian Blackberry service providers, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar, BPL, and Reliance Communications who have a partnership with Research-in-Motion (RIM) have a routing agreement and not a hosting agreement as is required under Indian law.

As per new telecom guidelines unveiled last year control of remote access that includes activation, transfer of data, and termination -- has to be within the country and not at a remote location abroad.

The new guidelines require RIM and Blackberry service providers to have a hosting agreement necessitating exchange of data and communication to be saved on servers of Indian service providers as against the existing routing agreement which allows such exchange of data and communication to be hosted on servers outside of the country.

DoT has therefore decided to intervene to check if the existing commercial agreements between RIM and service providers are in accordance with the new telecom guidelines.

Contrary to media reports official sources told UNI, the government has not issued any instructions to these mobile service providers not to route certain Blackberry services unless the required monitoring system was put in place.

DoT fears that the service could become a threat to national security since communication through Blackberry devices was routed through a server outside the country. Hence, the government has asked RIM to place a monitoring system in India.

Blackberry is a premium mobile service that allows sending and receiving e-mails in the form of SMS and has about four lakh subscribers in India. Most of the high-end users of mobile operators use Blackberry both for voice as well as data services.

UNI RT/PDT PBB RN1920

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