Indian telcos ordered to link with RIM's 'interception server'

India’s telecom department will soon require all mobile phone companies to link their networks up with RIM’s interception server by the end of the year.

Though telecommunication companies have been asking the Indian government for a four month extension before they had to comply, this has been denied. It has also been leaning on the Blackberry maker to make sure the interception system is working as planned and wants this demonstrated through trials with Vodafone.

According to the Economic Times of India, the Intelligence Bureau and the telecoms department weren’t happy with a trial on Vodafone’s network earlier this year. Although the company initially resisted, RIM is having to come up with technologies to decrypt its Blackberry Messenger service – BBM – as well as Blackberry Internet Services.

It must also be able to decrypt Blackberry Enterprise Services for corporate e-mails, as well as call information and server locations.

An internal note dated 25 October and seen by the Economic Times said the company must “arrange for testing without any further delay”.  

New CEO Thorstein Heins has outlined his company’s commitment to working with the Indian government, however, he said this would only be for lawful interception and that RIM must consider customer security first.

Despite the insistence of the Indian government that it be able to decrypt RIM’s services, Heins promised that customers would still have a “totally secure and private enterprise communication”. 

Earlier this year RIM denied local reports that it had handed the Indian government the encryption keys to its secure networks.