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Security agencies to take control of BlackBerry monitoring facility

Thomas K Thomas
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Canadian phone maker ropes in Verint for developing solution

Research In Motion, the maker of BlackBerry phones, has roped in cyber intelligence solutions provider Verint to develop the monitoring platform for Indian security agencies.

The Canadian phone maker has asked security agencies and the Department of Telecom to test the system, according to top Government sources.

RIM had earlier agreed to set up a local server in the country after security agencies insisted access to traffic flowing through BlackBerry devices. Although the phone maker held out for almost two years, it has now come around to implementing what the security agencies want. Under the agreement thrashed out between RIM and the Government, the facility set up by RIM will be under the control of the security agencies. RIM will log details related to traffic flowing through its network and automatically send them to security agencies. Additionally, separate logs of administrative operations and maintenance of the system will be provided and the DoT will be able to audit the log on request. RIM has also agreed to disconnect the Internet-based remote maintenance system. The Department of Telecom has also told the phone maker to initiate talks with telecom service providers to connect to the monitoring facility.

This indicates that RIM has agreed to almost everything the security agencies wanted. Earlier, the phone maker had refused to set up a local server and insisted on continuing with remote maintenance. However, the Ministry of Home Affairs is yet to approve the solution.

When contacted, David Paterson, Vice-President for Government Relations for RIM, confirmed that the company is offering solutions that will enable telcos to comply with the security requirements on consumer services. He, however, added that the monitoring solution was not for BlackBerry Enterprise service.

thomas.thomas@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 1, 2012)
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