After nearing its deadline for reaching a compromise with India, Research in Motion has finally proposed what it hopes to be a solution to mitigate a ban of its BlackBerry smartphone in that country. India had demanded access to encrypted emails sent and received with a BlackBerry device in the country, citing national security concern, but RIM has said that such a move would not be possible and that it cannot grant access to select governments, no matter how legitimate the concerns are against terrorists and other issues of security.
The proposal by RIM would have the company lead an industry-wide forum to balance the growing needs of India’s security concerns along with issues of privacy from the perspective of a BlackBerry user. The move may mitigate a ban that the government has said will go into effect at the end of the month of RIM doesn’t offer a solution.
Full details about the forum, and who is eligible to participate and who won’t be are still not available at this time. In a prepared statement, RIM only says that “Finding the right balance to address both regulatory and commercial needs in this matter is an ongoing process and RIM has assured the Government of India of its continued support and respect for India’s legal and national security requirements.”
In Response to India, the company says that “Banning such strong encryption-based information and communications services would severely limit the effectiveness and productivity of India’s corporations.”
RIM continues to reiterate that it cannot open access to encrypted information. The smartphone maker has said that it is a misperception that placing RIM servers and infrastructure in India could help to give the government access to encrypted information.