The Waterloo-based Blackberry-maker Research In Motion is offering a compromise to the Government of India.
In this compromise, the smartphone manufacturer would lead an “industry forum” that would “balance the needs of state security forces with the company’s own need for corporate data security,” according to The Globe and Mail.
The Indian government said earlier this month that RIM had until the final day of August to meet their conditions or face service bans in their country. Quoth The Globe:
The South Asian state, the world’s fastest growing market for mobile phones, demanded access to the company’s BlackBerry messaging system and its encrypted corporate e-mail, fearful that the secure technology might be used to fuel a rebel insurgency in India’s eastern and southeastern states. If a satisfactory agreement isn’t reached by Aug. 31st, India said it would shut down the BlackBerry services.
Saudi Arabia, with which RIM has now reached an agreement, and Indonesia, along with India and other states, have all objected to RIM’s highly secure encryption system – which scrambles data when it is sent until it is received, making it very difficult to monitor by national security services.
“Research In Motion confirmed today that it is extending an offer to the Government of India whereby RIM would lead an industry forum focused on supporting the lawful access needs of law enforcement agencies while preserving the legitimate information security needs of corporations and other organizations in India,” RIM said in a release. “In particular, the industry forum would work closely with the Indian government and focus on developing recommendations for policies and processes aimed at preventing the misuse of strong encryption technologies while preserving its many societal benefits in India.”
RIM went on to say that “Banning such strong encryption-based information and communications services would severely limit the effectiveness and productivity of India’s corporations.”
These foreign tug-of-wars put RIM in a tough state of affairs, given that it is the company’s highly secure encryptions that define its corporate popularity—and taking that away damages the brand’s reputation and unrelentingly stoic.