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India gets RIM to cry uncle, Google and Skype up next

India gets RIM to cry uncle, Google and Skype up next

The big news in the tech world today is that Waterloo-based Research in Motion seems to have struck a deal to keep Blackberrys working in the subcontinent. There are no details on what, exactly, RIM conceded to the Indian government, but more or less, everyone is assuming that crackberries are about to get a lot less secure from Indian government investigation.

The Globe and Mail has the lowdown:

After initially setting an Aug. 31 decision deadline, the Ministry of Home Affairs released a statement Monday granting more time for negotiations. Over the next two months, RIM will negotiate with the government and will also provide authorities with access to its encrypted data.

The two parties have been in talks for the past several weeks to negotiate security and privacy issues related to the encrypted e-mails and instant messages sent over RIM’s network.

“RIM have made certain proposals for lawful access by law enforcement agencies and these would be operationalized immediately,” the ministry said in a brief statement. “The feasibility of the solutions offered would be assessed thereafter.”

So, now that New Delhi has made both RIM and global cellphone giant Nokia play nice, it looks like Internet-based networks are up next. Apparently Google and Skype could face the same pressure to open up their encryption to Indian security.

So the Indian government is going to have wide-ranging powers of surveillance over popular consumer electronics and Web sites? This sounds like the perfect time to pitch our Bollywood-themed remake of Enemy of the State. Does anyone know if Will Smith can still sing and dance at the same time?

RIM gets BlackBerry reprieve in India [Globe and Mail] • Google and Skype could be hit by India data curbs [BBC News] • RIM avoids ban in India, for now [Toronto Sun] • RIM averts BlackBerry ban in India [Toronto Star] • India BlackBerry ban averted [CBC News]

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