In a set back to mobile handset manufacturer Nokia, the government has asked telecom service providers to bar company’s proposed -- pushmail or powermail -- service till it put in place a legal monitoring system.

“In view of the Intelligence Bureau’s report, Department of Telecommunications is requested to advice the Telecom Service Providers not to launch Nokia’s proposed pushmail/powermail service without putting in place monitoring facilities to the satisfaction of the LEAs,” Ministry of Home Affairs said in a communication to Department of Telecom.

Messaging services from Nokia involve push email for companies and consumers and enables mobile users with compatible Nokia cellphones to manage multiple email accounts from widely used email services like Yahoo!, Gmail, Rediff to Sify.

The communique came at a time when Blackberry services are under the government’s wrath due to the security related issue for not providing a solution to intercept its Enterprise mail services.

The government had asked BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion (RIM) to come out with a satisfactory solution to intercept its Enterprise mail services by March 31, which has been already expired.

Nearly 50 per cent of Nokia’s E Series business phones sold in the country get activated for e-mails.

These developments came at a time when the home ministry has asked the telecom and IT departments to overhaul existing legal frameworks to broaden the meaning of telecom/internet services.

The telecom department and the IT ministry have been asked by the home ministry to ring in the necessary changes in the Indian Telegraph Act of 1885, the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2007, the Rules under Telegraph & IT Acts to ensure operator compliance with the demands of the security agencies.

Once the necessary amendments come, it will be mandatory for telecom service providers to have the systems in place to deliver authorised intercepts based on telephone numbers, device identity, email IDs, IP addresses or keywords to the national security agencies on real-time basis.

(This article was published on April 14, 2011)
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