RIM Seeking Two-Year BlackBerry India Stay on Ban

The Ontario-based smartphone maker of the popular BlackBerry smartphone, Research In Motion (RIM), is seeking up to a two-year extension with the government of India as it works on meeting government requirements surrounding access to encrypted BlackBerry e-mails and messages.

RIM faced a nationwide BlackBerry ban in India in late August 2010 as the company held final stage negotiations that ultimately did not reach a consensus but still a ban was averted, which would have left more than 1.1-million mobile BlackBerry users without service in the country.

 During those negotiations, RIM offered the government of India to organize an industry wide forum on mobile privacy, an offer that was ultimately rejected.

The government of India, along with other foreign governments largely in the eastern part of the world, like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, want direct access to BlackBerry servers in order to monitor messages for national security purposes.

RIM has already reached a deal with the Saudi Arabia government, believed to have installed a BlackBerry server in the nation, giving monitoring access to the government. The company has not provided any more specific information related to that deal, but has stressed the importance of equality when it comes to providing access to governments.

The latest negations between RIM and the Department of Telecommunications in India seek up to an additional two-years for the company to actually provide access to server encryption keys that would allow the government to monitor all BlackBerry message transmissions.

RIM recently confirmed that there is currently no BlackBerry ban scheduled by the government of India specifically.

The RIM stock (TSE:RIM) is trading down nearly 10 basis points at $61.08 per share with just about one hour until the closing bell in today’s trading session.

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Hercules holds a B.Comm Finance from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) level 3 candidate. He was previously a contributor at FiLife, a finance website owned by Dow Jones and IAC. Write to [email protected]
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