September 24, 2010 / 7:22 PM / 8 years ago

Ottawa says hopeful on RIM deal with India

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s trade minister said on Friday he believes Research In Motion will be able to reach an agreement with India that gives police and security agencies access to encrypted BlackBerry communications.

A customer walks into a BlackBerry store in Mumbai August 31, 2010. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Peter Van Loan said after meeting with India’s minister of commerce and industry, Anand Sharma, that the two discussed the matter and how it might be resolved.

“In Canada, when the police or a security agency presents evidence to a judge and obtains a warrant, they are able to intercept telephone calls and other forms of communications,” Van Loan said to reporters.

“My understanding is that India is seeking the same thing and we believe that RIM can arrive at a resolution on that basis, that, again, protects freedoms, protects those fundamental values of privacy, while at the same time, allowing legitimate security interests to be represented.”

India, like several Mideast countries, has expressed concerns that encoded BlackBerry services could be used to stir political or social unrest. It had threatened RIM with a ban if it were denied access to data carried on the popular smartphones.

The Indian Interior Ministry said on August 30 that the Canadian firm had offered several ways to allow authorities to monitor BlackBerry communications. The government said it would check their feasibility over the next 60 days.

Saudi Arabia, concerned about Internet content such as pornography, reached a deal with RIM on access to the BlackBerry Messenger instant messaging service, which operates outside the secure corporate domain, according to government sources.

Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have raised similar concerns, with the UAE setting an October 11 deadline for RIM.

Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Rob Wilson

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