BlackBerry maker closer to averting India ban: report

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is making progress in talks with India over New Delhi's demands to intercept encrypted messages carried by the smartphone, a report said Saturday.

India last month gave Research in Motion (RIM) a 60-day reprieve on a threat to ban its messaging services in the world's fastest-growing mobile market after the Canadian firm agreed to give security forces "lawful access" to data.

A technical group consisting of officials from security agencies and India's Department of Telecommunications has been satisfied with interception methods being developed by RIM, the Press Trust of India reported, quoting "official sources."

The sources, however, said it may take three or four months before a full solution emerges to allow Indian security agencies direct access to both BlackBerry messaging services and corporate email.

The technical group is likely to meet next week, the news agency said.

India asked RIM to develop tools to allow security agencies to monitor its encrypted services following concerns they could be used by militants.

Canadian Trade Minister Peter Van Loan, who on Friday discussed the issue with India's Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, said in Ottawa that RIM should be able to reach an agreement with New Delhi.

With 1.1 million users in India, RIM is also threatened with a ban on BlackBerry smartphone services in the United Arab Emirates and is negotiating an access agreement with Saudi Arabia.

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